SAO PAULO – Brazilian far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro is able to eat solid food, but he remains in intensive care five days after being stabbed in the abdomen at a campaign rally, doctors at Albert Einstein Hospital said on Tuesday.
“Due to his intestinal improvement,” the candidate’s feeding tube was removed on Tuesday so he can resume eating, the latest bulletin from the Sao Paulo hospital said.
The information was confirmed by the candidate’s son, Flavio Bolsonaro, who said in a Twitter post that his father had eaten a piece of bread and juice on Tuesday.
Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed Thursday by a man while supporters carried him on their shoulders in Juiz de Fora, the second-largest city in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.
The 63-year-old Bolsonaro, an apologist for Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime and a firm opponent of gun control, underwent emergency surgery.
Less than 24 hours after the attack, he was listed in stable condition and transferred to Albert Einstein Hospital.
Even though Bolsonaro is in stable condition, he is still in the intensive care unit pending another operation in the next few days to reconstruct the intestine.
Bolsonaro continues on top of the polls ahead of the Oct. 7 presidential election, with 24 percent, though the proportion of people saying they would never vote for the rightist has climbed in recent weeks from 39 percent to 43 percent.
Besides his praise for the junta, Bolsonaro has a history of making homophobic, sexist and racist comments in a nation where half the population counts Africans among their ancestors.
Brazil’s most popular politician, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has been banned from the ballot due to a corruption conviction, and his Workers Party (PT) said Tuesday that he was stepping down from the top of the ticket in favor of running mate Fernando Haddad.
With no candidate likely to win a majority on Oct. 7, a runoff on Oct. 28 is all but certain and polls show Bolsonaro losing in a second round against any of his rivals.