The critical blow to the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan came last year when he appeared to lose support from the country’s powerful military.
This undermined his political stability at a time when discontent with Mr Khan’s government was already growing. Double-digit inflation has pushed the prices of basic goods soaring and sparked criticism that it failed to deliver on its touchstone promises to revitalize the economy and create an Islamic welfare state.
A cricket star turned politician, Mr. Khan’s break with the army came over his attempt to put a loyal aide and former spy chief, Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid, in charge of the army over the top men’s objections. The military’s initial support for Mr Khan is widely regarded as a key reason for his taking power in 2018, although Mr Khan and military officials have denied that the military played any role in his election.
Then, in March, the opposition said it would move to vote Mr Khan out of office and began courting allies in his party. In just a few weeks, his ruling coalition splintered and some members of his party defected, giving the opposition the simple majority they needed in the 342-member National Assembly to remove him from office.
Still, Mr Khan firmly refused to resign before the vote, despite mounting calls for his resignation. Instead, he has held a series of rallies to gain public support, accused his opponents of being pawns in a United States conspiracy to overthrow his government, and claimed to have plotted to assassinate him.
So far, Khan has offered no evidence to Parliament or the news media to substantiate his allegations of a conspiracy, and US officials have denied the allegations.
If he is impeached, Mr Khan would have a familiar fate: No prime minister has served a full five-year term in Pakistan, now a nuclear-armed country of 220 million people.
Many analysts expect that even if Mr Khan loses the no-confidence vote, he may seek to return to parliament as a member of the opposition in the next general election, which is scheduled for 2023 but could be held earlier.