Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton congratulated Libyans for the opening of their first democratically elected parliament in decades, and she pledged that the United States stands ready to work with the Libyan people as they build democratic institutions for their country.
“Less than one year after an entrenched, brutal dictatorship, the Libyan people are writing a new chapter in their history,” Clinton said in an August 9 statement.
The 200-member Libyan General National Congress, which was seated August 9, has “important work ahead,” she said.
Along with building democratic institutions in the aftermath of Muammar Qadhafi’s 42-year rule, Libyan lawmakers face the challenges of “ensuring the drafting of a new constitution through a transparent process, protecting the universal rights of all Libyans, promoting accountable and honest government, and establishing security throughout the country,” Clinton said.
Libyans voted for the National Congress on July 7 in what was their first election since Qadhafi’s October 2011 overthrow.
President Obama described the vote as a milestone for the country’s “extraordinary transition to democracy,” and said that for most Libyans, it had been the first time they had participated in an election.
The president said Americans will partner with the Libyan people to “build open and transparent institutions, establish security and the rule of law, advance opportunity, and promote unity and national reconciliation.” Libya, the president added, can count on U.S. friendship and support.