London lauds Libya's step toward democracy

Feb. 15, 2012 at 9:57 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The publication of a Libyan election law is a milestone in the country's evolution toward an inclusive democracy, a British official said.

The U.N. Support Mission in Libya announced that Libya's transitional national council adopted an election law that would pave the way toward the first free election in the country in more than 40 years.

British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt hailed the publication as a milestone for a country that endured decades of rule under Moammar Gadhafi.

"We welcome the public consultation that informed the drafting of the law," he said in a statement. "This had led to one that is fair and inclusive and will help elect a National Congress representative of all Libya, including women and minorities."

British forces played a key role in the NATO-led operation that led to Gadhafi's downfall last year. He and members of his inner circle were accused of committing crimes against humanity during an uprising against the regime in early 2011.

"We look forward to the upcoming elections and hope that all parties will work together to achieve a fair, inclusive and democratic government which will continue the work of the TNC and transitional government in reshaping Libya's future," said Burt.

A UNSMIL statement said that the legal framework provides a "reasonable foundation" for the election of a legislative assembly though "some gaps and shortcomings are still present."

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