South Africa counts votes as Ramaphosa's ANC looks to retain power

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- reuters.com | 6 months ago

Mfuneko Toyana 3 Min ReadPRETORIA (Reuters) - South African elections officials counted ballot papers in the early hours of Thursday, a day after a vote seen as the toughest test yet for the African National Congress (ANC) party 25 years after it swept to power at the end of white minority rule.

FILE PHOTO: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during an African National Congress (ANC) election rally in Tongaat, near Durban, South Africa, May 4, 2019. REUTERS/Rogan Ward/File Photo The elections for a new parliament and nine provincial legislatures are the first barometer of national sentiment since President Cyril Ramaphosa replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma as head of state in February 2018.

Ramaphosa is trying to arrest a slide in support for the ANC, which has won every parliamentary vote since the end of apartheid in 1994 but whose image has been tarnished by corruption scandals and a weak economy in the past decade.

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