Carme Chacon, Spain's first female defence minister
Carme Chacon, Spain’s first female defence minister

SPAIN’S first female defence minister has died.

Carme Chacon, who almost became leader of the PSOE, was found dead in her Madrid home on Sunday aged 46.

She was known to have a congenital heart condition.

The mould-breaking Catalan was named defence minister while six months pregnant in 2008, a post she held until 2011.

She ran to become PSOE general secretary when José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero stepped down, but  lost the vote by only 22 votes.

Among her other achievements were becoming minister for housing and MP for Barcelona from 2000 to 2016.

Most recently, she had been one of the main backers of Andalucia Junta chief Susana Diaz, who is currently running to become party head.

Diaz, along with other candidates Patxi Lopez and Pedro Sanchez, have suspended campaigning activities as a mark of respect.

In a tribute, Diaz said: “She was a brave and extraordinary woman.

“She was my friend and my colleague and has always been there during the most important moments of my life; the most difficult and the best.

“The most extraordinary people are always taken too soon.”

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