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South Africans Begin Voting in Parliamentary Elections

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane casts his vote Wednesday, May 8, 2019 in general elections in Soweto, South Africa.

South Africans are lining up outside of polling stations Wednesday to cast their ballots in a national election overshadowed by years of sluggish economic growth and rampant corruption.

The elections are a test of President Cyril Ramaphosa's once-revered African National Congress, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid 25 years ago.

The party's image has been battered by a national unemployment rate of 27 percent and a corruption scandal that forced Ramaphosa's predecessor, Jacob Zuma, out of office last year.

The party of anti-apartheid icon and former President Nelson Mandela is expected to win Wednesday's vote, but faces a strong challenge from the main opposition Democratic Alliance centrist party and the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters party.

The final results are expected to be announced on Saturday. The party that wins the most seats in the South Africa's parliament will elect the president, who will be sworn in on May 25.