SAO PAULO – Far-right Jair Bolsonaro and progressive Fernando Haddad were the targets of attacks from the other Brazilian presidential candidates in the penultimate debate on Sunday ahead of the elections on Oct. 7.
Bolsonaro, who has been recovering at home after being stabbed at the beginning of September, was not present at the debate. He was discharged on Saturday after three weeks of hospitalization.
Along with the other front runner, Haddad, he received most of the criticism amid growing polarization of the two candidates.
Their opponents offered to “unite Brazil” and promote dialogue against Bolsonaro’s “authoritarianism” and the “corruption” of Haddad’s Workers Party (PT), according to ecologist Marina Silva, who is fifth in the polls.
Geraldo Alckmin of the Social-Democrats positioned himself “against the radicals of the left and the right,” proposing “neither the radicalism of Bolsonaro, nor the radicalism of PT.”
Bolsonaro leads the polls in the run-up to the elections with 28 percent, followed by Haddad with 22 percent.
He may take part in the last debate on Thursday, three days before the elections, if allowed by his doctors.