Joseph Kabila became Congo's president when his father Laurent was assassinated in 2001.
He was elected president in 2006, and secured another term in controversial elections in 2011.
Mr Kabila has enjoyed the clear support of western governments, regional allies such as South Africa and Angola, and mining magnates who have signed multi-million dollar deals under his rule.
He is a former guerrilla fighter who participated in nearly a decade of war that ravaged the country.
He fought alongside his father in a military campaign from the east that toppled dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997 after more than 20 years as the despotic, whimsical and corrupt leader of the nation he had renamed Zaire.
But when Laurent Kabila was killed by a bodyguard in 2001, his soft-spoken, publicity-shy son, who underwent military training in China, was thrust into the political limelight and installed as the world's youngest head of state.
He swapped his military fatigues for elegant business suits, but - in contrast to jovial and temperamental father - remains a reserved figure.
Mr Kabila has promised to rule by consensus to try to heal the scars of Congo's many conflicts.
Though revered in the Swahili-speaking east, where he was widely credited with helping to end Congo's 1998-2003 war, he is less liked in the west.
Joseph Kabila is the eldest of 10 children fathered by Laurent Kabila. He spent much of his early life in East Africa, where his dissident father lived in exile.
- Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
- Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
- Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
- Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
- Executive branch > Elections: Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election
- Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
- Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. "
- International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way.
- Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
- Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
- Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
- Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
- Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
- Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
"Democratic Republic of the Congo Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Democratic-Republic-of-the-Congo/Government
"Democratic Republic of the Congo Government Stats, NationMaster." 1960-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Democratic-Republic-of-the-Congo/Government>.
'Democratic Republic of the Congo Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Democratic-Republic-of-the-Congo/Government> [assessed 1960-2014]
"Democratic Republic of the Congo Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1960-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Democratic-Republic-of-the-Congo/Government>.
"Democratic Republic of the Congo Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1960-2014.
"Democratic Republic of the Congo Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Democratic-Republic-of-the-Congo/Government (assessed 1960-2014)
"Democratic Republic of the Congo Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Democratic-Republic-of-the-Congo/Government (last visited 1960-2014)
"Democratic Republic of the Congo Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Democratic-Republic-of-the-Congo/Government (as of 1960-2014)