BRAZIL ELECTION: Jair Bolsonaro SOARS in polls while still in hospital | World | News

THE ‘Brazilian Donald Trump’ has soared in polls ahead of his country’s presidential elections while recovering in hospital after being brutally stabbed.

Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right candidate for the Social Liberal Party, took 26 percent of the vote in a poll on Friday, up two percentage points from the same poll on Monday.

He remains in intensive care at the Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo but is in the lead for the first vote on October 7.

Mr Bolsonaro, a former army captain, was stabbed on September 6 during a rally in the city of Juiz de Fora.

In videos he can be heard screaming before falling back into the crowd.

He reportedly suffered a serious liver injury in the attack and a hospital spokeswoman confirmed the 63-year-old has undergone surgery. 

His attacker said he was “sent by God” and was upset by racial slurs made by Mr Bolsonaro.

His son, Flavio shared a picture on September 8 which showed his father in his hospital bed, posing as though he were brandishing an imaginary rifle.

This pose has been a staple of the far-right candidate’s campaign, where he has advocated a tough stance on crime.

His is a popular message in a country which broke its own record for homicides in 2017 when 63,880 people were killed. 

Despite being criticised for racism, sexism, homophobia and advocating for police to kill suspected drug traffickers and other criminals at will, Mr Bolsonaro has a dedicated support base.

Commentators suggest the attempt on his life will embolden his core supporters. 

Felipe Melo, a midfielder who formerly played for Juventus and represented Brazil in the 2010 world cup, posted a video online last week where he wished Mr Bolsonaro a speedy recovery.

Mr Melo posted on social media: “Let’s go Bolsonaro, it doesn’t matter what they say.”

Mr Bolsonaro is still ahead of his main rivals who are tied at 13 percent in the polls.

This is the first poll taken since former Sao Paulo Mayor, Fernando Haddad, became presidential candidate for the Workers Party.

His party polled at 13 percent, up from 9 percent.

Mr Haddad has joined the race after the incumbent Workers Party candidate, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, stepped aside.

Although he is serving a jail sentence for corruption, Mr Lula da Silva is one of Brazil’s most popular politicians.

He had been fighting a legal battle to run for office despite his incarceration, but he ended his bid on Tuesday.

Leftist Ciro Gomes maintained his 13 percent in the polls.

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