The World

Local elections throughout Italy today and Monday will test the ability of Prime Minister Bettino Craxi's centrist coalition to survive a powerful challenge from the Communist Party. Nearly 70,000 candidates are running for office in 15 regions, 86 provinces and 6,562 communities. Politicians of all shades stress that while the elections have no direct bearing on the parliamentary lineup, many see them as a possible launching pad for the fiercest Communist power bid since 1948.

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