European Parliament President David Sassoli has died at 65

WASHINGTON (AP) – European Parliament President David Sassoli died in a hospital in Italy, his spokesperson said in a tweet on Tuesday.

No details were provided in spokesman Roberto Cuillo’s tweet beyond Sassoli’s death at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday in Aviano, a town in northeastern Italy.

Sassoli had been hospitalized since December 26 due to an abnormal functioning of his immune system, Cuillo said in a statement released the day before Sassoli’s death.

“This hospitalization was necessary because of a serious complication due to a dysfunction of the immune system”, indicates the release of Cuillo.

Sassoli, 65, was first elected to the European Parliament in 2009. He won another term in 2014 and served as Parliament’s Vice-President. He had decided not to run for office when lawmakers voted to name their new president later this month.

The European Parliament, headquartered in Strasbourg, France, represents the 450 million citizens of the European Union and defines itself as “the heart of European democracy”. It is one of the seven branches of the EU and has more than 700 members directly elected by its member countries.

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