11TH ITALIAN PRESIDENT SCALFARO DIES AT 93
- Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, a past president of Italy who helped write its post-war constitution and was a founding member of the former Christian Democrats, died Sunday, January 29 in Rome. He was 93.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano paid tribute to his predecessor as "a protagonist in the democratic political life" and called him an example of "moral integrity."
No cause of death was immediately reported, according to AP.
Scalfaro held numerous prestigious posts before becoming Italy's ninth postwar president, a position that is largely ceremonial but carries the significant role of moral compass for the country.
As president from 1992-1999, Scalfaro was often called upon to resolve Italy's recurrent political crises, either choosing a new premier or calling early elections. He once called Italy's volatile political situation "pathological."
The National Magistrates Association remembered Scalfaro as a "strenuous defender of constitutional values and the autonomy and independence of the magistrates."
A devout Roman Catholic with a law degree from the Catholic University of Milan, Scalfaro spent the war years working to help imprisoned anti-Fascists and their families.
Then, in 1946, he won a seat in the assembly that wrote the constitution for the Italian Republic, declared in late 1947 after a popular referendum abolished the monarchy.
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