Venezuela MPs quit amid power struggle

Jan 14, 2016, 4:27 AM EST

Three opposition politicians in Venezuela have agreed to give up their seats in the National Assembly while the electoral authorities investigate allegations of voting irregularities.

The BBC writes:

On Monday the Supreme Court declared that all decisions taken by the assembly would be null and void until they stood down. The three legislators say they agreed to step aside to break the deadlock. Without the seats, the opposition loses a critical two-thirds majority. The so-called "super-majority" would allow the opposition to put a more effective challenge to the government of Nicolas Maduro. They would be able to change the constitution and appoint new Supreme Court judges. In a letter read in the assembly, the three legislators said they "completely reject" the Supreme court ruling. But their decision to give up their seats would "help free parliament from the institutional ambush" prepared by the government and its supporters, they added. The decision by the three legislators - Julio Haron Ygarza, Nirma Guarulla and Romel Guzamana - was approved by the opposition-held assembly. Members of the pro-government bloc celebrated the move as "a victory for the people". "We applaud this move, which puts the National Assembly back within the framework of legality," said pro-government legislator Hector Rodriguez.