South African ruling party is election front runner despite fierce opposition challenge

South Africans are voting in elections that are expected to see the ruling African National Congress return to power despite a vigorous challenge from opposition parties seeking to capitalize on discontent with corruption and economic inequality.

Many people had lined up before polling stations opened at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) Wednesday for the fifth all-race elections in South Africa since the end of white minority rule in 1994.

Some 22,000 voting stations are operating at schools, places of worship, tribal authority sites and hospitals, and several dozen vehicles serving as mobile voting stations are going to remote areas to meet people. About 25 million South Africans, roughly half the population, have registered to vote in the parliamentary elections that will also determine the president.