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South Africa's ANC Wins Big

Final South African election results give the ruling African National Congress a big win, but just short of the two-thirds majority mark it easily crossed in the last election.

The vote sets the stage for Jacob Zuma's rise to the presidency, having overcome sex and corruption scandals.

Officials said early Saturday the ANC had won more than 11 million votes, winning support from more than half of all registered voters.

Seats in parliament are based on election results. Parliament then elects the president.

A two-thirds majority in parliament which would have enabled the party to change the constitution without cooperation from other parties.

Such a majority would have also allowed the ANC to pass legislation and set a budget without a challenge.

Despite the national victory, the ANC appears to have lost control of the Western Cape province to the opposition Democratic Alliance.

The new opposition party that split from the ANC last year, the Congress of the People (COPE), had a bit more than seven percent of the vote. Party officials said they are pleased with that performance.

The Independent Electoral Commission estimates that around 77 percent of South Africa's 23 million registered voters turned out to cast their ballots.

On Friday, the African Union observer mission called Wednesday's elections free, fair and transparent.

Although the vote was peaceful in much of the country, a COPE official in Eastern Cape province was shot dead, in what party officials are calling a political killing.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.