Why is the prime minister in trouble?

The critical blow for the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan came last year, when he appeared to lose the backing of the country’s powerful military.

This undercut his political stability at a time when there was already growing dissatisfaction with Mr. Khan’s government. Double-digit inflation has sent the prices of basic goods soaring and fueled criticism that he was failing to deliver on his touchstone promises of reviving the economy and creating an Islamist welfare state.

A cricket star turned politician, Mr. Khan’s break with the military came over his effort to place a loyal aide and former spy chief, Lt. Gen. Faiz Hamid, in charge of the army over the objections of the top brass. The military’s initial backing of Mr. Khan is widely thought to be a major reason for his rise to power in 2018, though 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 governing coalition splintered and some members of his party defected, appearing to give the opposition the simple majority it needed in the 342-member National Assembly to remove him from office.

Still, Mr. Khan staunchly refused to step down ahead of the vote despite mounting calls for his resignation. Instead, he has held a series of rallies to whip up public support, accused his opponents of being pawns in a conspiracy by the United States to topple his government and made claims of a plot to assassinate him.

So far, Mr. Khan has not offered Parliament or the news media evidence to support his claims of a conspiracy, and American officials have denied the accusations.

If he’s ousted, Mr. Khan would have a familiar fate: No prime minister has completed 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 set for 2023 but could be held sooner.

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