Stabbed Brazil presidential candidate needs another 'big' operation

Despite being confined to hospital, Jair Bolsonaro is currently leading Brazilian presidential election polls

Brazil presidential election front-runner Jair Bolsonaro remains in intensive care and needs another "big operation" following his stabbing ordeal, hospital authorities in Sao Paulo said on Monday.

The Israelita Albert Einstein Hospital said in a statement that the right-wing candidate was still in "serious" condition and will need surgery to "repair the intestinal tract and remove the colostomy bag."

The 63-year-old was canvassing in the southern state of Minas Gerais on Thursday when he was stabbed by a left-wing activist.

After initial treatment at a facility in Juiz de Fora where he was attacked, Bolsonaro was transferred to Sao Paulo on Friday.

The hospital said the ex-army captain was showing no signs of infection, though.

The suspected attacker, 40-year-old Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, a former member of the left-wing PSOL party, has admitted to the assault and said he was acting on "a mission from God."

On his Facebook page he had recently criticized Bolsonaro, who has been accused of making racist, misogynist and homophobic comments.

With former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva jailed and barred from standing in the October 7 election first round, Bolsonaro has been elevated to the top of polls with a 10-point lead over his nearest rivals, environmentalist Marina Silva and center-left candidate Ciro Gomes.

And the media spotlight the attack has afforded him could help his candidacy, according to analysts, with one saying he'd been "transformed into almost as big a victim as Lula."

On Sunday, Bolsonaro's son Flavio, also a politician, told a crowd of around 2,000 cheering supporters in Rio de Janeiro that his father was "stabbed because he is already elected."