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Independent AfricaSouth Africans cast ballots in most competitive election since apartheid

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South Africans cast ballots in most competitive election since apartheid

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South Africans began voting Wednesday, potentially shifting politics if the ruling ANC loses its majority as polls predict.

Queues formed in major cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban starting at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT), with lines also seen in chilly townships and rural areas.

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Voters are electing nine provincial legislatures and a new national parliament, which will then choose the next president.

If the ANC receives less than 50% of the national vote, it will need to form a coalition, the first in 30 years since Nelson Mandela led the party to power after apartheid.

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Voting stations opened at 0500 GMT and will close at 1900 GMT, with over 27 million registered voters out of a population of about 62 million.

South Africa’s electoral commission is expected to release partial results within hours of polls closing and has seven days to announce the final results.

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