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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:32, July 20, 2006
Brazil's hospitalized vice president able to officiate while President away
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Brazil's Vice President Jose Alencar would be able to act as the acting head of state when President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva left for Argentina on Thursday to participate in a summit of the South American Common Market (Mercosur), a presidency spokesman said on Wednesday.

There would be no problem for the Vice President to replace President Lula, as Alencar could take care of the basic presidential tasks from his ward in Sao Paulo, said Andre Singer, President Lula's spokesman.

Vice President Jose Alencar underwent surgery on Tuesday at Sirio-Libanes Hospital in Sao Paulo, to remove a tumor from his abdomen.

The operation had gone smoothly, and he had already left the hospital's Intensive Care Unit, doctors in charge of the surgery said on Tuesday.

The vice president was expected to leave the hospital by Sunday, they added.

Lab tests will determine whether the tumor removed in the surgery on Tuesday morning is benign or malignant.

The 74-year-old vice president underwent surgery to remove tumors from his kidney and stomach in 1997. Three years later, he had an operation on his prostate. In 2005, he underwent emergency surgery to remove a blockage from an artery.

Jose Alencar will run for Vice President on incumbent President Lula's ticket in the October elections.

Source: Xinhua


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