Latin America & Caribbean

Argentina's ex-President Kirchner has heart operation

Image caption Nestor Kirchner is one of Argentina's most influential politicians

Former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has had surgery to clear a blocked coronary artery.

Mr Kirchner, 60, who has a history of heart disease, was given an emergency angioplasty after complaining of numbness in his legs during a routine check-up on Saturday.

Doctors said he was recovering in hospital after a successful operation.

Mr Kirchner is the husband of the current President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

"The operation was successful," presidential doctor Luis Buonomo said. "There should not be any complications."

Mr Kirchner had emergency surgery in the same clinic in February to remove a blockage from his carotid artery, which carries blood from the heart to the brain.

Mr Kirchner was president from 2003 to 2007 before his wife Cristina was elected, and is thought to be planning to stand for president again in 2011.

He is a member of the Argentine congress and secretary-general of the South American regional grouping, Unasur.

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