Haiti entered into another leaderless drift Wednesday as the provisional president’s 120-day mandate came to a close amid backroom negotiations, posturing and delays by the deeply polarized country’s political class. Lawmakers were expected to decide whether to extend caretaker President Jocelerme Privert’s term until new elections can be held or pave the way for new interim leader. But a National Assembly session failed to take place Tuesday, when Privert’s tenure expired under the deadline of a February accord that helped put him in power. Cholzer Chancy, the acting leader of the National Assembly, on Wednesday demanded that senators and deputies return to Parliament to vote. But a session failed to materialize for a second straight day. “We are 92 deputies and 22 senators. Why can’t we come in and decide how we will continue to govern the country?” Chancy told a local radio station.
The United Nations, the U.S. government and representatives of other nations making up the “Core Group” that monitor Haiti voiced concern on Wednesday that “no measures have been taken to ensure institutional continuity.” They urged lawmakers to quickly reach a solution.
Whether Privert is still Haiti’s caretaker president depends on who you talk to. Senate leader Ronald Lareche and 10 other senators issued a statement saying they will recognize Privert’s legitimacy until the Parliament decides his fate.
And in a Wednesday evening national address, Privert insisted he would stay in office until the divided Parliament finally voted. In February, a majority of members elected him interim leader amid suspended elections and another institutional vacuum in the presidency.