The Americas

US official recognizes Haiti interim leader for now

A supporter of presidential candidate Maryse Narcisse marches with a Haitian national flag during a demonstration in support of interim President Jocelerme Privert in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Haiti's legislators will decide whether to pave way for a new interim leader until elections can be resolved or extend the term for Privert, whose 120-day mandate is due to expire today. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

A supporter of presidential candidate Maryse Narcisse marches with a Haitian national flag during a demonstration in support of interim President Jocelerme Privert in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Haiti's legislators will decide whether to pave way for a new interim leader until elections can be resolved or extend the term for Privert, whose 120-day mandate is due to expire today. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)  (The Associated Press)

The U.S. State Department's special coordinator for Haiti says he currently recognizes Jocelerme Privert as the troubled country's interim president even though the divided Parliament keeps avoiding a vote on potentially extending his expired mandate.

During a Thursday phone call with reporters, Kenneth Merten was asked if the U.S. still recognized Privert as Haiti's caretaker leader even though his 120-day mandate ended Tuesday under the terms of an accord.

Merten responded: "I would have to say I would recognize him as the interim president of Haiti" at this time. But he has stressed that Haitian electoral authorities should "act soon to clarify that."

Haiti's opposition insists that Privert is now in office illegally.

Merten also says the U.S. was "disappointed" in Haiti's electoral council's decision to redo a presidential first-round.