Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has ignored a deadline to resign, choosing instead to cling on to his 37-year-long rule.
Following the midday local time cut-off, the chief whip of the ruling ZANU-PF party said talks on how to start the impeachment process to forcibly remove Mugabe from power would now begin.
In a further twist, Reuters also reported that the 93-year-old leader had called his cabinet for a meeting on Tuesday at the State House offices.
Impeachment will likely throw the country into deeper turmoil as the government must now embark what will be a lengthy and potentially chaotic process. A two-thirds majority of parliament against the president is required to legally pass the measure.
In a rollercoaster week for the country of 16 million, scenes on the streets of the capital, Harare, have gone from tanks and gunfire to protests and jubilant dancing to celebrate the longtime leader's anticipated departure from power.
Mugabe's own ruling party ZANU-PF called for him to step down and subsequently fired him as party leader, threatening impeachment in the absence of a voluntary resignation. Part of the party's opposition stemmed from a rejection of Mugabe's highly unpopular wife Grace, who was slated to succeed him in office.
Such popular demonstrations would have been met with a severe crackdown just a week earlier.
The military took control of the country on November 14 in a now-apparent effort to end Mugabe's nearly four-decade long rule, ostensibly to return former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa to power after Mugabe sacked him two weeks prior. Mugabe's tenure was marked by a record of human rights abuses, violent suppression of dissent and corruption.