March 20 (NBC) – Several lawmakers from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling party withdrew their support for him ahead of a no-confidence vote, stoking more uncertainty over whether the former cricketer can hang on to power.
The development came a day after a key ally said Khan was in danger of losing his coalition partners, flagging a “tilt” by his partners in government towards their opponents.
The opposition blames Khan for mismanaging the country, economy and foreign policy. No Pakistani prime minister has ever completed his term in office.
Without the coalition partners and the dissidents, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which has 155 seats in the lower house, would fall short of the 172 needed to retain power.
The joint opposition consists of major parties such as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the PPP of former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, respectively, and has more than 160 seats in the lower house.
The threat of political turmoil in the nuclear-armed nation is growing as the opposition looks to oust the cricketer-turned-politician in a vote that could come as soon as this month after the no-confidence motion was unveiled in parliament last week.