The Congolese presidents chief diplomat, Barnabe Kikaya, said on 19 December that there was no scenario in which Joseph Kabila would step down at the end of his mandate at midnight. Kikaya said a new president must be elected before Kabila may step down. Elections are not due until next year. Hundreds of anti-Kabila demonstrators defied a ban on marches against the presidents plans to stay in office past the end of his term and gathered in Kinshasa amid a heavy military presence. They demanded the president step down and organise elections that were due this month.