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Brazil's Bolsonaro says he is not healthy enough for TV debate

Nelson Almeida, AFP | Bolsonaro is the frontrunner in the October 28 second round presidential election vote.

Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right front-runner in Brazil's presidential election, is still not healthy enough to take part in debates and other campaign activities as he recovers from a near-fatal stabbing last month, his medical team said Wednesday.

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The announcement means Bolsonaro, who faces social democrat Fernando Haddad in an October 28 runoff vote, will likely miss the next presidential debate on Friday.

Bolsonaro's medical team added that the 63-year-old candidate will be re-evaluated next Thursday and should be cleared for campaigning at that point, but he will need more surgery in December followed by a 15-day recovery period.

Economic adviser in fraud probe

This comes after it was revealed that Bolsonaro's chief economic adviser is being investigated by federal prosecutors for allegedly taking part in fraud linked to the pension funds of major state-run companies.

The investigation, first made public by the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper on Wednesday, alleged that the adviser, Paulo Guedes, mismanaged 1 billion reais (€231m) that public pension funds injected into his investment vehicles starting in 2009.

Prosecutors are probing a decision to invest in a company in which Guedes was the controlling shareholder, along with tens of millions of reais in payments made as speaking fees to unknown parties using some of this money, the prosecutor said, confirming Folha's reporting.

Bolsonaro, who met Guedes for the first time last year, is not accused of any wrongdoing. The newspaper, citing court documents, said Guedes allegedly worked with executives at the pension funds with strong ties to the leftist Workers Party. The party's candidate, Haddad, is Bolsonaro's rival in this month's presidential run-off.

Bolsonaro has said Guedes would be his economy minister if he wins the election.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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