The leader of Greece's center-left party Movement for Change (KINAL), Fofi Gennimata, died on Monday after battling a long-term illness. She was 56.
"Unfortunately, Fofi Gennimata passed away a while ago, fighting bravely against her illness. My heartfelt condolences to her family," Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said on Twitter.
Gennimata was fighting with cancer for several years, however, her health deteriorated early this month, forcing her to remove her nomination from the KINAL leadership after she was admitted to an Athens hospital in Oct. 11.
"I was shocked and saddened to learn about the death of Fofi Gennimata. I say goodbye to her with respect. But also flooded with thoughts caused by her so unjust and untimely loss. Because politics is, above all, humane," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a statement.
Mitsotakis, who was in Saudi Arabia, but cut his trip upon the news on Gennimata's death.
"A brave woman who was fighting with dignity all the battles of her life, the smallest and the biggest ones, without ever losing her bright smile. She has consistently and politically served her principles and the public life," Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said in a statement.
Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's main opposition party SYRIZA, expressed his sorrow over the death of Gennimata.
"With deep grief I was informed on Fofi Gennimata's death. She fought for her life with dignity and determination until the end. Her loss makes the country's political life poorer. My sincere condolences to her family and comrades," he said.
Gennimata was the daughter of Greek politician and minister at the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) government, Giorgos Gennimatas, who also died from cancer in 1994.
Seven candidates, including George Papandreou, former prime minister of Greece, have joined the race for the KINAL party leadership so far.