Polling stations closed Wednesday evening in elections in South Africa that are expected to see the ruling African National Congress (ANC) return to power despite a vigorous challenge from opposition parties seeking to capitalize on discontent with corruption and economic inequality. Voting in the fifth all-race polls in South Africa since the end of white minority rule in 1994 wrapped up at 9 p.m. and South Africa’s election commission said the first results were expected in the following hours. Officials will declare final results no earlier than Saturday, allowing time to address any objections to the process. The election commission said most voting went smoothly. About 25 million South Africans, roughly half the population, registered to vote in the parliamentary elections that will also determine the president. Some 22,000 voting stations opened at schools, places of worship, tribal authority sites and hospitals, and several dozen vehicles serving as mobile voting stations visited remote areas.
Wednesday was declared a public holiday to encourage voting. Nearly 2,000 military personnel assisted police to make sure that the elections were peaceful around the country.
Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu cast his vote in Cape Town and said South Africans should be thankful that they can vote peacefully. “I’m thinking of Ukraine. I’m thinking of South Sudan, you know, all of those things happening there,” the South African Press Association quoted Tutu as saying.
Full Article: South Africa voting ends, counting starts.