||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011)|
|Raj Pannu speaking at a rally at the Alberta Legislature, on June 11, 2007.|
|MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona|
|Preceded by||Al Zariwny|
|Succeeded by||Rachel Notley|
|Leader of the Alberta New Democrats|
|Preceded by||Pam Barrett|
|Succeeded by||Brian Mason|
|Born||Rajinder Singh Pannu
January 12, 1934
|Political party||New Democratic Party|
|Occupation||University Professor, Teacher|
In 1964 he moved to Edmonton to work on a graduate program, completing a Ph.D. in sociology in 1973. He taught at York University for one year (1968–69) before returning to the University of Alberta, where he taught for 27 years until his retirement in 1996. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta.
He entered provincial politics in 1997 when he was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing the riding of Edmonton-Strathcona. Raj became leader in February 2000 after the previous leader, Pam Barrett, retired from politics.
Pannu ran a high-profile campaign in the 2001 Alberta election. T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Raj Against the Machine", as well as a reputation as a "likeable and honest politician" contributed to his popularity and made him a leader well respected by supporters and non-supporters alike.
He announced on July 13, 2004 that he was resigning as party leader. Fellow MLA Brian Mason, the deputy leader, became interim leader. Mason was formally elected leader in a leadership convention held on September 18. However, he sought re-election as an MLA in the 26th Alberta general election, and was re-elected by a wide margin.
On June 14, 2006, he announced his retirement from Alberta politics at the dissolution of the legislature, which took place in February 2008.