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Pakistani Opposition Parties Present No-Confidence Motion In Bid To Oust PM Khan

Supporters of Prime Minister Imran Khan's ruling Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI) party attend a rally in Islamabad on March 27.

Major opposition parties in Pakistan have presented a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The motion was presented on March 28 in the country's National Assembly, or lower house of parliament.

Khan has recently lost a parliamentary majority through a series of defections from his party, and opposition parties allege that he has lost the support of his allies.

"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.

Qasim Suri, the parliament's deputy speaker, accepted the motion and adjourned the body until March 31, when lawmakers will begin three days of debate before holding a vote.

Khan needs a simple majority of 172 votes in the 342-seat National Assembly to maintain office. Under the constitution, a vote on a no-confidence motion will be held not less than three days and not more than seven days after it is presented.

The move comes as Pakistan faces a recurring economic crisis and as Khan's government waits on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to release the next tranche of a $6 billion rescue package.

Khan, 69, who came to power in 2018, has vowed to fight to maintain his office. The former captain of Pakistan's national cricket team has blamed a foreign-funded conspiracy for trying to topple his government.

The opposition and analysts say the prime minister has fallen out with the powerful military, a charge both Khan and the military deny.

To try to survive, the government announced it would give the post of chief minister of the country's largest province, Punjab, to one of its coalition partners.

With reporting by Reuters and AP