Lawmakers’ Diplomatic Passport Bottlenecks Under Probe

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Foreign Minister Sara Beysolow Nyanti has been summoned by the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee regarding hiccups (bottlenecks) on the issuance of Diplomatic Passports to lawmakers. The House’s Foreign Affairs Committee was mandated by the Plenary last week Thursday to investigate and report to within one week. Since the inception of the House of Representatives 55th Legislature on Monday 15, January 2024, lawmakers have reportedly been experiencing difficulties regarding receiving diplomatic passports following applications. The House’s decision was prompted from a communication from Nimba County District #9 Representative, Taa Wongbe . In his communication, the Nimba lawmaker said: “Mr. Speaker, as you are aware, many of our colleagues have requested Diplomatic passports based on their travel requirements but have not been issued passports based on their personal and unexplained reasons.” Rep. Wongbe added: “However, Article IV: A. of the March, 2016 states, “REVISED REGULATIONS TO GOVERN THE ADMINISTRATION AND ISSUANCE OF LIBERIAN PASSPORTS, restricts the issuance of diplomatic passport to certain category of officials of government and individuals based on their ranks or positions as a matter of privilege, and when assigned by an appropriate governmental institution to represent the Government or render service for the Government of Liberia in foreign countries.” Rep. Wongbe also noted: “Honorable Speaker, we view this regulation to be archaic and counterproductive, and we ask that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revise this regulation to allow for diplomatic passports to be automatically issued to individuals deserving of diplomatic passports once confirmed, and or certificated by the relevant authorities.”

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