New York - The pro-democracy watchdog group Freedom House says that Libya has made major strides toward establishing democracy in the last year.
That assessment counters a widespread impression of Libya as lawless after a deadly militia raid in Benghazi killed the US ambassador and three other Americans.
Freedom House's annual ranking of political rights and civil liberties around the world boosts Libya and Egypt to "partly free" status due to successful elections.
The Benghazi attack as an issue in the US presidential election, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney trying to portray it as a major bungle by President Barack Obama's administration.
Conservatives argued it was an example of al-Qaeda infiltration or radical Islamic influence spreading in Libya on Obama's watch.