S. Africa Ruling Party Faces Challenge

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- South Africa's elderly, disabled and other groups are voting early ahead of municipal elections on Wednesday in which the ruling party faces a robust challenge from opposition groups seeking to capitalize on scandals linked to President Jacob Zuma.

The special voting Monday and Tuesday caters to people unable to vote at their polling station on election day; in some cases, officials are traveling to homes and other locations to collect ballots.

The opposition Democratic Alliance party hopes to make gains in key metropolitan areas controlled by the ruling African National Congress. The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party is also contesting the elections.

A scandal over state upgrades to Zuma's private home hurt the ruling party, which has been in power since the first all-race vote in 1994.

(KA)