Italian premier bests Communists

Italy Christian Democrats scored a major electoral victory over the Communists, snatching away two of their prized regions and ending a campaign that threatened the government of Premier Francesco Cossiga. The Communists' losses, coupled with setbacks in national elections last year, have frozen for years their hopes of entering the national government, analysts said.

The Christian Democrats won 10 of the 15 regions that voted Monday, including two former communists domains, industrial Piedmont and Roman Lazio.

With 99 percent of the vote for regional governments counted, the Christian Democrats led with 36.7 percent, a 1.4 percent increase from similar elections in 1975 and a 1.4 percent drop from national elections last year.

The communists were behind with 31.6 percent, down 1.8 percent from 1975 and 0.2 percent from 1979.

The Socialists, Italy's third-largest party and currently major supporters of the Christian Democrats, won 12.7 percent, up 0.7 percent from 1975 and 2.6 percent from last year.

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