Italy votes to be republic

J. Edward Murray

ROME -- An official announcement said today that Italy has voted to become a Republic, throwing King Humbert II and the House of Savoy out of power.

The ministers of war and aviation announced jointly that the national referendum had given the Republic a majority over the Monarchy. They said the votes remaining to be counted could not change the decision.


The majority for the Republic was about 1,800,000 votes.

Vice Premier Peitro Nenni announced that the cabinet met "plan the king's departure."

War Minister Manlo Brosio appealed to the nation to take the news calmly.

The nation's rejection of the monarchy ended the reign of King Humbert just 26 days after he formally mounted the throne. He succeeded his father, King Victor Emmanuel, who abdicated and went into a life of voluntary exile in Egypt.

Humbert had been Lieutenant General of the Realm, carrying on his father's duties, since Victor Emmanuel retired in 1944 after the Allied capture of Rome.

The new king made a "campaign" tour of the country during his short reign, trying to convince the people they should retain the monarchy. This failed principally because the heavy voting populace in the north was strongly for the republic. Southern Italy, particularly the monarchist stronghold around Naples, plumped heavily for the king.


The Christian Democrat party led by Premier Alcide de Gasperi was solidly entrenched as the country's strongest party, its position reinforced by late returns. The Socialists were second and Communists third.

Official figures for 21,549,002 of the estimated 24,000,000 votes showed:

Christian Democrats, 7,598,783,

Socialists, 4,512,333,

Communists, 4,129,222,

Democratic Union, 1,392,227,

Uomo Qualunque, 1,106,726.

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