Far-right presidential candidate in Brazil stabbed at rally

World Today

People leave candles in support of presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, of the National Social Liberal Party, who was stabbed earlier in the day during a campaign event, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. Bolsonaro, a leading presidential candidate ahead of Oct. 7 elections whose heated rhetoric has electrified some voters and angered others in a deeply polarized electorate, was stabbed during a campaign event Thursday and was undergoing surgery. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen during a campaign event on Thursday in the state of Minas Gerais. He was being carried on the shoulders of a supporter when he was attacked.

CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports.

Video on social networks show the moment he was stabbed with a knife. He was taken to a hospital. 

Initially, Bolsonaro’s son said the wound was superficial. But doctors said the knife punctured Bolsonaro’s stomach.

Police reportedly have a suspect in custody.

The former Army captain is running on a tough-on-crime platform. He’s a supporter of liberal economics.

A controversial and outspoken figure, Bolsonaro faces strong opposition from leftist groups and activist movements, like LGBT groups.

Yet, he’s trending high in polls and right now seems poised to reach the second round of voting.

In the first poll released after the country’s electoral court annulled former president Lula da Silva’s candidacy, Bolsonaro led with 22 percent.

Potential Lula da Silva’s replacement, former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad, had six percent.

There are unconfirmed reports da Silva is prepared to abandon his presidential bid in favor of Haddad.

Last Friday, Brazil’s electoral court barred da Silva from running and gave the party until next Tuesday to choose another candidate.

On Wednesday, a Supreme Court justice turned down what was considered a last resort for Lula da Silva to stay in the race.

Anonymous Workers’ Party officials have been quoted by the media as saying the former president has finally accepted to stand down

Peter Hakim on the state of Brazil’s politics

For the latest on the political landscape in Brazil, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Peter Hakim, the president emeritus and senior fellow of the Washington-based think tank Inter-American Dialogue. He’s also teaches at the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University.