Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing a no-trust motion filed in the National Assembly against him by opposition leaders, who accuse him of having mismanaged Pakistan’s economy.
Just hours later, federal minister for housing Tariq Basheer Cheema resigned, announcing his decision to vote for the motion.
An alliance of opposition lawmakers called the Pakistan Democratic Movement has been trying to woo Khan’s coalition partners away, some of whom seemed ready to desert him.
The House will begin a debate on the motion on Thursday and a vote is to be held within seven days.
“The prime minister ceases to hold his office after he has lost the confidence of this house,” opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif said, reading from the no-confidence motion telecast live on television.
The vote comes as Pakistan faces a recurring economic crisis, with Khan’s government banking on the International Monetary Fund to release the next tranche of a $6 billion rescue package to shore up dwindling foreign currency reserves.
The 69-year-old Khan lost a parliamentary majority with a series of defections from his party, and a united opposition is calling on him to step down.
He has vowed to fight to stay put and blamed a foreign-funded conspiracy for trying to topple his government.