Kabila, who took office in 2001 after his father's assassination, is constitutionally barred from seeking another term, but a court has ruled that he can remain in power until new elections, which have been delayed indefinitely. They were meant to be in November, but the ruling party says it needs more time until 2018, at least.
The leader of Congo's largest opposition party, Etienne Tshisekedi, urged peaceful resistance to what he called Kabila's "coup d'etat." In a statement posted on YouTube on Tuesday, he called the president's actions "treason" and appealed to the Congolese people and the international
community to no longer recognise Kabila's authority.
Political talks between the ruling party and opposition, which stalled over the weekend, were expected to resume on Wednesday with mediators from the Catholic church.
The political impasse has fueled fears of widespread unrest in the vast Central African nation that has trillions of dollars' worth of natural resources but remains one of the world's poorest and most unstable countries.
After Kabila's mandate ended, people blew whistles and rattled pans as part of a protest meant to symbolise the "end of the match."
The political negotiations that stalled over the weekend failed to reach an agreement on a date for new elections or the release of political prisoners.
Both are key demands of the opposition parties, along with the dropping of criminal charges against opposition leader Moise Katumbi, who fled the country as authorities announced plans to try him.
Katumbi's supporters say the charges of hiring mercenaries are politically motivated, as he had been a leading presidential candidate.
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