Nestor Kirchner, Ex-Argentine President, Dies

Nestor-KirchnerFormer Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has passed away due to an apparent heart attack, local media reported on Wednesday.

Kirchner, husband of current President Cristina Fernandez, had angioplasty surgery last month, the second such operation this year for the 60-year-old left-leaning politician. The former president, who served from 2003 to 2007, died at his summer house in the town of El Calafate in southern Argentina. Kirchner was expected to run in lieu of his wife in next year’s presidential polls.

Condolences immediately flooded President Fernandez’s office following the announcement of Kirchner’s death. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a close ally of the deceased political kingpin, took to Twitter to express his condolence. “How much pain! What a great loss for Argentina and our America to suffer! Long live Kirchner forever!” Chavez said in his tweet.

Kirchner was considered the most influential political figure in the South American country, although his critics labeled his managing style as authoritarian. Investors also reviled the economic policies of Kirchner, who publicly spoke against big businesses.