Gianroberto Casaleggio, co-founder of Italy’s biggest opposition party, has died after a long illness, a spokeswoman for the Five-Star Movement said in a phone interview. He was 61.
Casaleggio was widely-described as the Internet guru of the party led by ex-comic Beppe Grillo. An opinion poll by the Ixe Institute earlier this month credited the Movement with 25.4 percent of voter support, against 34.1 percent for the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
The Five-Star Movement is expected to make strong gains in municipal elections due on June 5 and 19, with voting in cities including Rome, Milan, Naples and Florence.