Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has had surgery to remove blood from the surface of her brain, sidelining her three weeks ahead of a key mid-term election and at the apex of a rancorous court battle with the nation’s “holdout” creditors.
The President’s condition, described as a subdural hematoma, came from hitting her head in a fall in August. The operation, from which she is expected to fully recover, involves draining blood that has pooled between the brain and the skull.
On Saturday she was told to rest for a month due to her condition.
Supporters, some carrying signs that said “Hang In There Cristina” and “The Country Is With You,” gathered outside the Fundacion Favaloro hospital in Buenos Aires, where the surgery was being conducted.
The operation comes at a sensitive time for her administration, with her policies promoting economic growth at the cost of inflation clocked by economists at about 25 per cent per year, one of the highest rates in the world.
When she became ill on Saturday, the 60-year-old leader was in campaign mode ahead of the October 27 mid-term primary, which will determine whether her coalition remains in control of Congress in her final two years as leader.
Ms Kirchner is also embroiled in a legal battle against holdout bond investors who declined to participate in Argentina’s 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings and are suing for full repayment.