Key Venezuela lawmakers step down in concession to government

Three opposition lawmakers at the center of a dispute between Venezuela's congress and its top court stepped down on Tuesday following a Vatican-backed agreement meant to ease a political standoff between the opposition and President Nicolas Maduro. 

Lawmakers Julio Ygarza, Nirma Guarulla and Romel Guzamana, two from the Amazonas jungle state and one who represents indigenous groups, were key to handing the opposition a super majority in December 2015's legislative elections.

But a Supreme Court order banned them on allegations of fraud in January.

The National Assembly defied the government by reinstating them in July, leading authorities to declare congress illegitimate and setting up a power clash with the socialist government.

The lawmakers submitted their resignations in writing to congress on Tuesday to trigger fresh elections for the three seats.