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President Nicolas Maduro asked the council of ministers to present their resignation in order to carry out a process of restructuring, renovation and deep reform in the government,” Maduro said on TV late on Tuesday. shifted into damage control mode, asking his cabinet to resign in oil-rich but troubled Venezuela after the opposition won a majority in the legislature in a landmark challenge to his grip on power. The opposition in the legislature will now be able to call a referendum, launch constitutional reforms, replace senior judges and even take measures to try to depose Maduro. Analysts warn a tough political struggle lies ahead after Maduro’s rivals broke his side’s 16-year control of the National Assembly in elections on Sunday.Supporters of the opposition coalition MUD set off fireworks and danced in the street as the latest results of the vote came out late Monday.The national election commission confirmed that MUD won 112 of the 167 seats in the National Assembly. The other 55 went to the socialist party that ruled until now. “That is not our priority,” MUD leader Jesus Torrealba told reporters.“Our priority is national reconciliation and secondly dealing with the economic and social emergency in this country.”The new lawmakers take up their seats on January 5.Sunday’s election was a dramatic blow for Maduro and the socialist “revolution” launched in 1999 by his late predecessor Hugo Chavez.Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves, which Chavez and Maduro used to fund social welfare programmes.But plunging oil prices have crippled the country since Maduro was elected in 2013. Voters punished him for an economic crisis that has families suffering shortages of basic foods and goods. Maduro said “a new stage has begun” and it was time for “constructive self-criticism” in his party.“I have called for a full debate to look for a solution to the country’s problems  and to build a new revolutionary majority,” he said late on Monday after meeting leaders of his party.

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