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Venezuela's opposition wins majority in legislative poll

A coalition opposing Venezuela's ruling Socialists have claimed 99 of 167 seats in the country's parliament, according to election officials. President Nicolas Maduro said he recognized the "adverse" results.

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Venezuela elections on social media

Venezuela's opposition Democratic Unity coalition has gained control of the National Assembly following a landslide victory at the polls.

The country's electoral commission said that the opposition won at least 99 seats in the 167-seat parliament.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles celebrated the victory on Twitter, stating in a tweet, "Venezuela has won!"

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro conceded defeat, saying he recognized the "adverse" results in the elections.

"We are here, with morals and ethics, to recognize these adverse results," Maduro said in a televised statement, blaming the coalition's gains on a so-called "economic war."

"I can say today that the economic war has triumphed," Maduro added.

The end of a socialist dream?

Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela came to power nearly two decades ago following the late President Hugo Chavez's ascension to presidency in 1999.

Under the banner of a socialist revolution, the charismatic leader implemented sweeping changes to Venezuela's social and economic policies.

However, following his death in 2013, his successor Maduro has struggled to cope with a stagnant economy in the wake of dwindling oil prices.

The commodity was largely used by the OPEC nation to pay for policies that witnessed a significant increase in literacy among the most at-risk communities in the country.

In the early 2000s, Caracas made several policy decisions to bring the industry under its control in a process Chavez called "re-nationalization."

The opposition's gains are a major setback to the government's ruling socialist party, which had held a majority for 16 years.

ls/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa, EFE)

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