Venezuela’s opposition on Tuesday took control of the legislature for the first time in 16 years but failed for the time being to clinch the two-thirds “supermajority” it had hoped for.

The National Assembly swore in deputies to 163 of the 167 seats, with three opposition and one pro-Maduro lawmaker suspended pending a government lawsuit over alleged electoral fraud.

The provisional loss of its three deputies leaves the opposition with a still-powerful three-fifths majority, enabling it to remove cabinet ministers from their posts, among other powers.

But it removes, at least temporarily, some powers President Nicolas Maduro’s opponents would have had, including the ability to put legislation to a referendum and convene an assembly to draft a new constitution.

Lawmakers loyal to Maduro reportedly staged a walkout from the National Assembly during tense debating after being sworn in.



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