By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 6 October 2015:
Frustrated applicants are still complaining that despite official promises that the chaotic issuance of new e-passports . . .[restrict]would be fixed, the system is still a mess.
Yesterday an angry group of would-be new passport holders petitioned Suq Al-Juma municipality protesting that the passport office was refusing to accept fresh applications. They said that they were being giving no reason for this.
The mayor, Jamal Al-Din Al-Shaibani promised the protestors that he would take up their cases. On the municipality’s social media site Shaibani said he had already demanded an explanation from the passport office.
It has never been entirely clear why the issuance of the new electronic travel documents has run into such problems. At one point, it appeared that the computerised system was allocating multiple appointments at the same time on the same time. This difficulty was not eased by queue-jumpers, some of whom are rumoured to have paid up to LD5000 for something which normal costs LD50.5.
At the end of August passport office official Hani Belras Ali assured the Libya Herald that the problems would be fixed “within days”. Forty days later the system still appears to be a mess.
The pressure to get it right has however eased since the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) lifted next month’s deadline after which the old green passports would no longer be accepted for air travel. The government is believed to have told the ICAO that there was no way that the deadline could be met. As a result the new e-passports will not become compulsory for international travel for the foreseeable future. [/restrict]