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EU, US commends Libya vote

The United States and EU praise the electoral process in Libya and say the country will march towards democracy in the post-Gaddafi era

Thursday 19 Jul 2012
Libyan NTC Chairman Abdel Jalil and Libya's PM El-Keib attend a news conference by al-Alabbar, Chairman of the Electoral Commission National Congress, in Tripoli, July 17, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Libya has taken an "important step forward" with this month's election results and the vote process showed the Libyan people's "commitment to democracy," the White House said Wednesday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney offered Washington's congratulations to "all the parties and candidates who have won seats in the new General Congress" in the July 7 poll, the first since the ouster of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Meanwhile, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday commended Libya's elections as a symbol of the country's "peaceful and dignified" march towards democracy.

The July 7 poll, the first since the ouster of Moamer Kadhafi, saw a liberal coalition beat Islamist parties, according to results unveiled by the country's electoral commission on Tuesday.

"I would like to reiterate my warm congratulations to the Libyan people for their determination to move forward on the road to democracy in a peaceful and dignified manner," Ashton said in a statement.

She welcomed the "professional" handling of the vote by the authorities and the national election commission, saying that EU monitors had deemed the vote count as "transparent and fully open to observation".

"The EU looks forward to working with the future Libyan government," she said, though it remains unclear who will dominate the country's next congress.

She added that the 27-nation bloc hoped "the appointment process will retain the momentum of transition and enable the consolidation of a stable and prosperous society based on respect for fundamental freedoms, human rights and the rule of law."

Libya's new congress will be tasked with appointing a new interim government and steering the country for a roughly one-year transition period, until fresh elections can be held on the basis of a new constitution.

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