Rana Bokhari

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Rana Bokhari
Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party
In office
October 26, 2013 – September 24, 2016
Preceded by Jon Gerrard
Succeeded by Judy Klassen (interim)
Personal details
Born (1977-10-23) October 23, 1977 (age 40)
Anola, Manitoba
Political party Liberal
Residence Winnipeg, Manitoba
Alma mater University of Manitoba
Profession Lawyer
Website ranabokhari.manitobaliberals.ca

Rana Bokhari (born c. 1977), was the leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party in Manitoba, Canada. She was elected leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party on October 26, 2013 after Jon Gerrard's resignation following the 2011 general election.[1] After a disappointing third place showing in the riding of Fort Rouge in the 2016 general election, she announced on May 7, 2016 that she would step down as leader as soon as her successor was chosen,[2] but it was then announced in September that she had stepped down immediately. An interim leader will be chosen after a party meeting on October 15.[3]


Bokhari was born on a farm near Anola, Manitoba.[4] As a student she attended the University of Manitoba where she obtained degrees in criminology and psychology. She then went on to complete a degree in law at Robson Hall, focusing on corporate commercial law. While completing her law degree, Bokhari was active in the Manitoba Law Students Association, serving as President in 2012.[5]

Bokhari moved to Pakistan in 2002, living there with her family until she returned to Winnipeg in 2006.[6] Her childhood home and family chicken farm were lost to fire in 2012.[7]

Liberal leadership[edit]

When[when?] the long-standing leader of the provincial Liberal Party, Jon Gerrard, decided to stand down, she was the first person formally to declare her candidacy. She faced two opponents, Bob Axworthy and Dougald Lamont. During the party leadership contest, Bokhari was seen as an outsider. Although two of her relatives had stood as Liberal candidates at the previous provincial election, she had not previously had a profile in the provincial party. Despite this, she was endorsed by the Manitoba Senator Maria Chaput, the leading Liberal candidate from the 2011 elections, Paul Hesse and party Vice-President Robert Young. One of her opponents, Bob Axworthy, was seen as the candidate of the party establishment.[8][full citation needed] She won a first ballot victory by one vote, with 431 votes. The minimum number of votes needed to win on the first round of voting was 430.[9]

The victory made Rana Bokhari the youngest person ever to lead the Manitoba Liberals and the first Manitoban of South Asian descent to lead a political party in the province.[10]

Her leadership has faced internal criticism, from party members and former leadership challenger Bob Axworthy, who accused Bokhari of "purging" longtime Manitoba Liberal members as she solidified control of the party.[11] Party membership and fundraising has been a challenge[12] as Bokhari has focused on rebuilding a party that has lacked official party status in the Manitoba Legislature since the mid-1990s. However, party support, as indicated by public opinion polls, is now higher than it has been in over a decade, with about one in five Manitobans considering the Liberal Party in the next election.[13]

Since becoming leader of the Manitoba Liberals, Bokhari has called for independent investigation into discharge procedures at Manitoba hospitals,[14] raised concerns on education funding,[15] called for an inquest into missing and murdered Aboriginal woman,[16] and supported the raising of the PST with a commitment to using the tax increase for a dedicated municipal infrastructure fund.[17] Bokhari's latest policy release concerned mental health and vowed to see psychiatrists more accessible to Manitobans, by funding them in a similar way to physicians.[18]

Bokhari has committed to making Manitoba the "hub of something" in her year end interview with the Winnipeg Free Press. She explained "I want Manitoba to be the IT capital of this country or the innovation capital of this country."[19]

In 2014 Bokhari endorsed Winnipeg mayoral candidate Brian Bowman in the 2014 Winnipeg Municipal election.[20]

In the Manitoba general election, 2016 Bokhari was not elected in Fort Rouge, finishing third. On May 7, 2016, Bokhari announced that she would not lead the party into the next election but would remain on as leader until her successor was chosen.[21] She ultimately resigned as leader, effective September 24, 2016 and opened a law practice, Bokhari, Smith and Walker, the same month.[22]


  1. ^ Larry Kusch (October 26, 2013). "Rana Bokhari takes over reins of Manitoba Liberals". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  2. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/rana-bokhari-steps-down-liberal-party-leader-manitoba-1.3572299
  3. ^ http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/manitoba-liberals-plan-ahead-on-bokhari-s-last-day-with-party-1.3087080
  4. ^ Kusch, Larry (October 26, 2013). "New Manitoba Liberal leader Bokhari looks to get party in 'fighting form'". 
  5. ^ "Robson Hall Overview 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Robson Hall Student Profiles http://law.robsonhall.ca/flipbook/flip_book_files/CUserschlopeckDesktopRobson_Hall_Alumni_Report_2012-6/pages/file59.swf
  7. ^ Family loses barns, home to fire. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/family-loses-barns-home-to-fire-1.1205984
  8. ^ Winnipeg Free Press, 25 October 2013
  9. ^ Manitoba Liberals select Rana Bokhari as new leader https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/manitoba-liberals-casting-votes-to-choose-next-party-leader/article15102629/
  10. ^ Larry Kusch (October 27, 2013). "An 'emotional roller-coaster' for new Liberal leader". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  11. ^ Liberal Leader Faces More Internal Turmoil http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/manitoba-liberal-leader-rana-bokhari-faces-more-internal-turmoil-1.1785566
  12. ^ Rana Bokhari won Manitoba Liberal leadership with least donors http://globalnews.ca/news/1330133/rana-bokhari-won-manitoba-liberal-leadership-with-least-donors/
  13. ^ MacKay, Scott. "September 2014 Party Standings in Manitoba" (PDF). www.probe-research.com. Winnipeg Free Press, CTV News Winnipeg. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  14. ^ Independent Discharge Neededhttp://www.manitobaliberals.ca/news-release-rana-bokhari-mb-liberal-leader-calls-for-independent-investigation-into-discharge-procedures/
  15. ^ STAKEHOLDERS MUST BE AT THE TABLE WHEN DISCUSSING POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION:MB LIBERAL PARTY http://www.manitobaliberals.ca/news-release-stakeholders-must-be-at-the-table-when-discussing-post-secondary-educationmb-liberal-party/
  16. ^ Rana Bokhari calls upon Premier Greg Selinger and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to open an inquest to missing and murdered Aboriginal women http://www.manitobaliberals.ca/liberal-leader-rana-bokhari-calls-upon-premier-greg-selinger-and-prime-minister-stephen-harper-to-open-an-inquest-to-missing-and-murdered-aboriginal-women/
  17. ^ Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari Announces Infrastructure Plans For PST Increase http://www.manitobaliberals.ca/release-liberal-leader-rana-bokhari-announces-infrastructure-plans-for-pst-increase/
  18. ^ "MLP Press Release – LIBERALS PROPOSE PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS TO MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS". www.manitobaliberals.ca. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  19. ^ http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/in-conversation-with-rana-bokhari-up-close-287401381.html
  20. ^ Bowman has momentum in new poll numbers http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/bowman-sees-momentum-in-new-poll-numbers-1.2040346
  21. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/rana-bokhari-steps-down-liberal-party-leader-manitoba-1.3572299
  22. ^ http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/former-liberal-leader-bokhari-moving-on-to-new-law-firm-394678411.html