- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The United States, Britain and France said on Wednesday that the “international community” is concerned over “armed intimidation” of Libya’s elected government as it struggles to consolidate a democracy more than a year and a half after the death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

“As Libya manages this challenging transition, it is vital that the country’s institutions operate free from armed intimidation,” the U.S., British and French embassies said in a statement in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

“The democratically elected representatives and leaders of the Libyan people must be able to carry out their duties and move forward with the constitution motivated by their responsibility to the Libyans who elected them rather than by the threat of force,” the statement said.

Libya’s General National Congress was forced to pass legislation this week that bars from public office those officials who worked for Gadhafi, who was killed in October 2011.

A number of senior diplomats and officials, including Mohamed al-Megariaf, the president of the General National Congress, are likely to lose their jobs under the new law. Mr. al-Megariaf was serving as Libya’s ambassador to India at the time of his defection in the 1980s.

The militias laid siege to Libyan government ministries and demanded that the lawmakers pass the so-called Political Isolation Law.

“The international community is observing [Libya] with concern during this critical time in the transition,” the embassies said, urging Libyans to refrain from armed protest and violence.

“Following the adoption by the General National Congress of the Political Isolation Law, we call on all Libyans to work together to realize the goals of the … [Libyan] revolution and encourage the development of a democratic state that Gadhafi never permitted,” the embassies added.

The United States, Britain and France led an international coalition that helped topple Gadhafi’s regime.

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