Brussels, Jan 11 (EFE).- European Parliament President David Sassoli has died in a hospital in Italy, according to his spokesperson in the early hours of Tuesday.
The 65-year-old had been hospitalized since Dec. 26 because of “a serious complication due to a dysfunction of the immune system,” his spokesperson Roberto Cuillo revealed Monday when announcing the cancellation of Sassoli’s official activities.
Hours later, Cuillo announced Sassoli’s death.
“The @EP_President David Sassoli passed away at 1.15 am on 11 January at the CRO in Aviano (PN), Italy, where he was hospitalized,” Cuillo announced on Twitter.
“The date and place of the funeral will be communicated in the next few hours.”
After contracting pneumonia in September, Sassoli had spent more than two months recovering in his native Italy and then returned to political activity.
The Italian social democrat, who had a three-decades long career in journalism before entering politics, was appointed president of the EP in July 2019 and was in the final week of his two-and-a half year mandate.
Next Tuesday, the EP is scheduled to elect a new president having reached the midway point of the five-year legislative term (2019-2024).
This is the first time in the history of the EP that an incumbent president has died.
According to the internal regulations, the first vice-president must act as president until the election of the successor.
The post of first vice-president is held by Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola, of the European People’s Party, who was the favorite to be elected at the vote scheduled for next week in Strasbourg, France. EFE