El Salvador president fine after hip operation: wife

SAN SALVADOR Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:51pm EST

El Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes speaks with journalists in a hall of the presidential palace in San Salvador January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Ulises Rodriguez

El Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes speaks with journalists in a hall of the presidential palace in San Salvador January 31, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Ulises Rodriguez

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SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - El Salvador's President Mauricio Funes is recovering following an emergency hip operation on Tuesday after he hurt himself in a fall, his wife said.

Funes, 54, fell in the presidential residence as he got dressed for an official event, first lady Vanda Pignato said.

"He is very well, and tomorrow he can walk," she said.

The president's doctor said he would stay in hospital for three or four days. Funes was set to soon have another operation to treat a herniated disc in his spine that has made it difficult and painful to walk.

Funes, a former journalist, is at the end of his five-year term. He is the first president from the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), the left-wing party formed by the guerilla group that had battled U.S.-backed right-wing governments during the country's 1980-1992 civil war.

An ex-Marxist guerrilla from the FMLN is set to win El Salvador's presidency in a March vote by 10 percent over a right-wing challenger who promised a crackdown on crime, according to a recent poll.

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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