Venezuela opposition claims super-majority in vote

The broad MUD coalition obtained a qualified majority, according to all the voting registers and necessary checks.

Caracas: Venezuelan opposition leaders said Tuesday they have secured a two-thirds majority in the legislature that could allow them to launch constitutional challenges to curb the socialist government`s powers.

The broad MUD coalition "obtained a qualified majority, according to all the voting registers and necessary checks," senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles said on Twitter.

He said the MUD won 112 of the 167 seats in the National Assembly in Sunday`s vote, in which the opposition won control of the legislative body from the socialist leadership for the first time in 16 years.

The MUD`s executive secretary Jesus Torrealba echoed Capriles`s claim.

The state electoral board has yet to officially confirm the full results. An earlier partial count that it published on Monday showed the MUD had 110 seats with 55 for the ruling PSUV socialist party of President Nicolas Maduro.

The results for two other seats had yet to be finalized.

If the 112-seat majority is confirmed, the opposition could call a referendum, launch constitutional reforms, replace senior judges and other officials and even take measures to try to depose Maduro.

Sunday`s election was a dramatic blow for Maduro and the socialist "revolution" launched in 1999 by his late predecessor Hugo Chavez.

Voters punished the government for the deep economic crisis in Venezuela.

But analysts warned that a tough political struggle could lie ahead as Maduro can use his presidential powers to resist the opposition`s reforms.

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