The rebel Transitional National Council of Libya is more democratic than the Qadhafi regime and represents a wide spectrum of the country, the Obama Administration has said.

“This is obviously not the democratic end state that we’re looking for in Libya, nor is it the democratic end state that the TNC itself is looking for. TNC has set itself on a road map that leads to elections and leads to the right of every Libyan to vote for their leadership. That’s what we all want to see,” State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said.

“In the interim, and until we get to that point, and to improve the situation that Libyans have had under the dictator Qadhafi, this is more democratic than they’ve had in the past in the sense that the TNC as a whole increasingly represents a broader cross-section of Libyans. It is growing; it is broadening geographically in terms of the types of Libyans who are represented in it,” she told reporters.

The TNC has been handed over the Libyan Embassy in Washington but is yet to formally become operational, she said, adding it had a shock with killing of defence minister.

“I think what we see is an effort by the TNC to take a hard look at itself and to make an important step forward that can reassure Libyans that in reshuffling the government, that they have a truly democratic and a truly transparent leadership group,” she said.

“So, frankly, while the killing was an awful event, the fact that the TNC has not just stood pat but has really taken this as an opportunity for internal reflection, for renewal, we are optimistic about that and we welcome their objective and the objective of newly reappointed Prime Minister Jibril to form a new executive committee as quickly and as transparently as possible,” Ms. Nuland said.

“Remember that this executive committee is the leadership body of the TNC as a whole, so it’s important that not only the rest of the TNC but that the Libyan people have confidence in it,” she said.

“Well, as you know, their road map, which they put forward at the last contact group in Turkey, calls for a democratic transition that would take them from where they are now, to an interim status, eventually to elections,” she said.

“But you’re not going to have the confidence of the Libyan people in this body leading that road map and leading Libya in that direction if it can’t prove that it’s going to take necessary steps to get its own house in order after an event like the killing of the defence minister,” she said.

“So from that point of view, the way they deal with this is going to set the stage for future events. Our expectation is that it will be an opportunity for them, and that they need to pursue it democratically,” Ms. Nuland said.

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