World & Nation

Argentine leader to undergo surgery to remove blood outside brain

MEXICO CITY — Doctors plan to operate on Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Tuesday morning to remove blood that has collected outside of her brain, the apparent result of a fall the 60-year-old leader took in August, officials said.

Fernandez was admitted to a Buenos Aires hospital Monday after complaining the day before about a “tingling” sensation in her left arm, and after experts determined a “slight loss of muscle strength” in the limb, according to a statement released by doctors at the Favaloro Foundation hospital.

Before the latest symptoms, Fernandez had complained of headaches. On Saturday, doctors discovered that she had a subdural hematoma, a collection of blood between the tissues around the brain, apparently the result of an Aug. 12 fall. The doctors told her to take a month’s rest -- orders that would appear to sideline her until after midterm congressional elections scheduled Oct. 27.

The absence of the polarizing but politically astute Fernandez on the stump may bode ill for her Front for Victory Party, or FPV, which fared poorly in primary elections in August. Some national observers predicted that the party could lose significant power in congress in the October vote, thus weakening the president’s mandate during her last two years in office. [link in Spanish]


Fernandez, who took office in December 2007, has boosted spending on social welfare programs, but the South American country is suffering from high inflation, and many in the private sector consider her policies unfriendly to businesses.

Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou said Monday that Fernandez told him to take over while she recovers.

“Cristina is taking the rest that she needs, and she asked me to maintain the management,” he said, according to a report in the Argentine newspaper Clarin. [link in Spanish]



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