Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far-right president, has engaged in a brief physical altercation with a YouTuber who had previously provoked and insulted him. A video published on Thursday by the Brazilian news portal “G1” shows Bolsonaro, who is on the campaign trail, taking selfies with supporters in front of the presidential residence in the capital Brasília.
Then the Youtuber identified by “G1” as Wilker Leão begins to ask the President critical questions and to film himself. A person not seen in the recordings then throws Leão to the ground, whereupon the YouTuber shouts a series of insults at the president, such as “coward” and “bum”.
Bolsonaro, who has already gotten into his car, gets out again, runs towards Leão with the words “come here, I want to talk to you”, tries to grab his mobile phone, grabs his shirt and then his arm with both hands. Security guards quickly intervene and lead Leão away. Minutes later, the adversaries – separated from bodyguards – have a short conversation.
Bolsonaro and his challenger Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva officially started their campaign for the presidential election in October on Tuesday. Polls see left-wing ex-president Lula clearly ahead of the incumbent.
In a new survey by the opinion research institute Datafolha, the 76-year-old Lula comes to 47 percent, the 67-year-old Bolsonaro to 32 percent. The right-wing president was able to reduce the gap to his challenger by three points compared to the previous month.