Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been taken to a hospital in Sao Paulo with abdominal pain that doctors found was caused by an intestinal blockage, and is facing potential surgery nine months out from elections.
TV network Globo showed images of the 66-year-old disembarking from the presidential plane on foot with his entourage after landing in Sao Paulo at about 1:30am (04:30 GMT). He was then taken to the Vila Nova Star hospital, it said.
The far-right leader posted a picture of himself in his hospital bed on Twitter, flashing the thumbs-up sign, with a message saying he was facing “possible surgery for an internal blockage in the abdominal region”.
Bolsonaro has had a series of health problems since being stabbed in the abdomen during the 2018 presidential campaign that brought him to power. He has undergone at least four surgeries since.
According to Brazil’s UOL news site, Bolsonaro’s doctor, Antonio Luiz Macedo, said the president would undergo several tests to examine his abdomen. Macedo operated on Bolsonaro after the 2018 stabbing.
Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter he began to “feel sick after Sunday lunch”, arrived at the hospital at 3am (06:00 GMT) and a feeding tube was inserted in his nose.
Bolsonaro’s office said on Monday he was “doing well”.
“He is stable, undergoing treatment and will be reevaluated throughout the morning,” his doctors said in a statement.
“At the moment, there is no forecast for his release.”
In July, Bolsonaro spent four days receiving treatment for an intestinal obstruction that gave him persistent hiccups – one of a series of medical problems since the knife attack.
Doctors said Bolsonaro lost 40 percent of his blood in the 2018 attack, perpetrated by a lone assailant who was found to be psychologically unfit for trial.
Bolsonaro survived and went on to win the presidency that October, fuelling supporters’ die-hard faith in the man they call “Mito” or “The Myth”.
Bolsonaro’s aura of invincibility has faded since then, according to critics.
His polarising style has continued to rile up his far-right base, but he has lost crucial support among the political centre and the business sector as Latin America’s largest economy has sunk into recession.
Bolsonaro’s approval rating is at an all-time low as he prepares to seek re-election this October.
He currently trails far behind his likely top opponent, left-wing ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who led the country from 2003-2010. Recent polls indicate Lula could win the election in the first round.
Bolsonaro’s beach vacation, which started on December 27, triggered controversy in Brazil.
With the northeastern state of Bahia battered by deadly floods, the president ignored calls to interrupt his holiday, instead posting videos on social media of himself soaking up the sun and jet skiing through crowds of cheering supporters.