BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was set to undergo surgery on Monday morning to remove a colostomy tube and reconnect his intestines, reversing a procedure done after he survived a near-fatal stabbing on the campaign trail in September.
Doctors have recommended that Bolsonaro, 63, rest for 48 hours after the surgery, during which time Vice President Hamilton Mourao will be acting president, according to a statement from the president’s office.
The procedure will sideline the right-wing Bolsonaro during a serious mining disaster in the state of Minas Gerais, where a dam burst at a iron ore mine, releasing a torrent of mud that killed at least 58 people and left hundreds missing.
Bolsonaro, who took office on Jan. 1, checked into the hospital in Sao Paulo on Sunday and later posted a video to Twitter dressed in a hospital gown, summarizing recent events including his flight over the mining disaster site in the town of Brumadinho.
He said the disaster “affects us all, and we are in solidarity with the families of the victims.”
Disaster rescue efforts are being led by state authorities, and Bolsonaro has convened a council of ministers to support local efforts.
Bolsonaro’s surgery is expected to last three hours, he said, and he is expected to stay in the hospital for 10 days.
His advisers will set up meetings in the antechamber to his recovery room to allow for day-to-day governance after he takes over from Mourao, according to the president’s office.
(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Peter Cooney)