Brazil's Bolsonaro: God made me president

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, pictured giving a speech in Brasilia on December 9, 2019, says God is Brazilian (AFP Photo/EVARISTO SA)

Sao Paulo (AFP) - President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday God, a fellow Brazilian, had handed him the election victory that propelled him to office in South America's largest economy.

"I never imagined that I'd be president. No one gave us victory, but I think it was God's will. He saved my life first, then he gave me that mandate," Bolsonaro told reporters at his official residence in Brasilia.

"I believe that God is Brazilian," added the right-wing leader, who came to power on January 1.

Bolsonaro, who served in Brazil's legislature for nearly three decades, was stabbed and seriously injured while on the campaign trail in 2018, before being elected thanks in part to massive support from evangelical Christians.

His health has been a concern since the stabbing, and he has undergone several operations to treat the wounds -- most recently in September.

Earlier this week, the 64-year-old announced he had been examined for skin cancer, appearing before reporters with a bandage on his ear.

"I have fair skin, I fish a lot, I do a lot of activities. So the possibility of skin cancer exists," he said.

A presidential spokesman said earlier the tests were routine and that Bolsonaro was in a "good state of health."