Nestor Kirchner, 60, the former president of Argentina from 2003 – 2007, died today of a heart-attack in the southern city of El Calafate. He had previously been hospitalized twice this year for heart problems and most recently had a stent inserted last month.
Nestor Kirchner is the husband of Argentina’s current president, Christina Kirchner, and was planning to run for the presidency again in 2011. He is widely believed to be the man behind the scenes of his wife’s current presidency. There is some speculation that sympathy for Christina Kirchner could help her election chances in October 2011.
Kirchner was the man who oversaw Argentina’s recovery from the 2001 economic collapse. There are many mixed feelings on his policies however and the couple has been the subject of several corruption probes into the incredible expansion of their personal finances while they have been in office.
As Nestor Kirchner was widely expected to put up a strong showing in next year’s elections, it will be interesting to see what happens now. A more moderate president could greatly change Argentina’s economics and politics.