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Argentina President Cristina Fernandez surgery ‘went well’

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has undergone surgery to treat bleeding on her brain, at a hospital in Buenos Aires.

The operation, which has lasted about two hours, “went very well” said her spokesman, Alfredo Scoccimarro.

Ms Fernandez, 60, is expected to remain in intensive care for the next 48 hours and stay in hospital until next week.

She was ordered to rest for at least a month after doctors discovered the subdural haematoma.

“The president is in good spirits and is already in her room,” said Mr Scoccimarro.

The president’s leave of absence means she will have to suspend campaigning for congressional elections.


image of Ignacio de los Reyes Ignacio de los Reyes BBC Mundo, Buenos Aires

Although her condition is not life threatening, there has been speculation about President Fernandez’s illness as the Argentine government hasn’t provided any further details about the cause of the bleeding.

It is still unclear how the president’s leave of absence will affect her political career. She recovered from previous surgery in 2012, when she had her thyroid gland removed. This time she will miss upcoming congressional elections, the biggest popularity test for Ms Fernandez before the end of her second term in 2015.

Several Latin American leaders have showed their support for Ms Fernandez on social networking sites. Her followers are also using Twitter, one of the president’s favourite tools, to send her their messages with the hashtag #FuerzaCristina (or be strong Cristina).

The break from the campaign trail is considered awkward for the president as some opinion polls have suggested the government could lose control of Congress in the poll on 27 October.

While her party has done well in the primaries on a nationwide level it has failed to win a key seat in the province of Buenos Aires, where her rival and former cabinet chief Sergio Massa beat Ms Fernandez’s candidate.

Medical experts say recovering from this type of surgery is a long process, and her lay-off is now likely to be longer than a month.

Vice-President Amado Boudou, who is facing a corruption investigation, will be in charge of the country during her leave.

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