BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) _ Luis Eduardo Magalhaes, leader of the government's coalition in the Chamber of Deputies _ Brazil's lower house of Congress _ is dead at age 43.

Margalhaes, son of Sen. Antonio Carlos Magalhaes, was a member of one Brazil's most influential families and had been considered a likely successor to President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

As leader of the governing coalition in the lower house, Magalhaes was instrumental in pushing through key legislation, such as the administrative reform amendment to the Constitution and an amendment allowing the president to run for re-election.

Magalhaes served president of the Chamber of Deputies in 1995, a job he relinquished in 1997.

The congressman, who hailed from the northeastern state of Bahia, was admitted to the hospital around noon Tuesday complaining of chest pains. He died Tuesday night as doctors tried to perform surgery to open blocked arteries to his heart, Globo television reported.

Magalhaes is survived by his wife, Michelle, and three children. Funeral arrangements were not immediately known.