Former member of Italian Senate Felice Besostri dies at age 79

 January 7, 2024

The political world in Italy is pausing to mark the death over the weekend of noted jurist and former Senator Felice Besostri, as Il Giorno reports.

Besostri's death at age 79 was announced to the public by Valdo Spini, who formerly served as deputy secretary of the Partito Socialista Italiano (PSI), also known as the Italian Socialist Party.

Long and varied career

The outlet chronicled Besostri's lengthy career in politics and the law, noting his many accomplishments as an administrative lawyer, academic, and senator representing the Democratici di Sinistra (DS), also referred to as the Democrats of the Left.

Besostri served as mayor of Borgo San Giovanni back in the 1980s and will be remembered for his critiques and appeals against certain of the country's electoral laws.

In the aftermath of the PSI's eventual fracture in 1994, Besostri aligned himself closely with Spini, ultimately securing election to the Senate of the Republic as a member of the DS, which was a part of the so-called Olive Tree coalition.

Once his tenure in the Senate was complete, Besostri went on to gain additional notoriety for his work in appealing enforcement of 2005's Italian electoral laws, ultimately prompting reform that was finalized in 2015.

Lifelong focus on the law

Besostri was born in 1944 in the town of Zevio, and the professional path he would follow for the rest of his life began to take shape in his early adulthood.

By the time he reached the age of 25, Besostri had finished legal studies at the University of Milan, paving the way for his future endeavors.

Notably, Besostri later returned to his alma mater in a different capacity, this time to serve as a researcher in the political science department there.

According to a remembrance authored by Franco Astengo over the weekend, Besostri was “the man who in recent years embodied the union between democratic and socialist ideals.”

Tributes pour in

Remarking on Besostri's passing, Spini paid homage to his late colleague by declaring him “An intransigent defender of rights both nationally and internationally.”

Riccardo Magi, secretary of the liberal Piu Europa party, stated, “I learned with sadness of the death of the lawyer Felice Besostri, whose tireless commitment to democracy has repeatedly crossed our paths.”

Magi, himself a leader in one of the member parties in the center-left coalition, went on to lament “the fact that Besostri leaves us at a time when institutional reforms are being discussed without however giving centrality and priority to a democratic electoral law that guarantees a free and personal vote.”

“This is also why we will continue his battle,” Magi added, surely echoing the sentiments of the late lawyer and lawmaker's legions of supporters and admirers across Italy and beyond.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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