Fernando de La Rua, the former president of Argentina whose term ended after he fled the presidential palace in a helicopter amid riots, passed away in a Buenos Aires hospital early Tuesday, according to Argentine state news agency Telam.

The 81-year-old had been hospitalized late Monday, due to severe cardiac and kidney complications. De la Rua had been receiving treatment for several months after being hospitalized last January, according to Telam.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri confirmed De la Rua’s death on Twitter, expressing his condolences to the late politician’s family.

“I regret the death of former president Fernando de La Rua. His democratic trajectory deserves the recognition of all Argentines. We stand by his family at this moment.”

De la Rua’s short presidency is best known for its dramatic and premature exit.

In 2001, he left the presidential palace via helicopter, after serving only half of his four-year term, in the midst of deadly riots and economic chaos that caused the country’s economy to plummet.