WINNIPEG — Rana Bokhari will continue as the leader of the Manitoba Liberal party.
The party met for a board meeting Thursday evening, two days after winning three seats in the provincial election, two more than the 2011 election.
Party officials refused to comment to Global News about the specifics of Thursday’s board meeting but a member of the party confirmed late in the evening that it was decided Bokhari would stay on as leader.
Mike Brown, communications director for the Manitoba Liberals said there is no mechanism in the party constitution to remove the leader but the decision can be taken to a vote in the annual general meeting in 2017.
When asked after the party’s defeat on April 19, Bokhari was hesitant to confirm her continued leadership, “It’s not a conversation to have today. I want to go celebrate with my candidates who have done a very good job.”
The Manitoba Liberals entered the provincial election race with high hopes, second place in the polls and still seeing the positive effects of Justin Trudeau’s red wave during the federal election.
Soon after the campaign kicked off, the party stumbled with a number of missteps including the loss of four candidates due to improper address information and past controversies coming to light. These included a past assault conviction for a former Elmwood candidate and sexist tweets from a former Southdale candidate.
The party ran without a full slate of candidates for the first time since 1999.
Bokhari faced criticism as well after admitting she wasn’t sure whether she paid her taxes and many held her responsible for the party’s poor performance at the polls.
Despite the criticism, the Liberals were able to triple their elected candidates. Jon Gerrard stayed on in River Heights, Judy Klassen won in Kewatinook and Cindy Lamoureux in Burrows.
Bokhari failed to win her own seat in Fort Rouge where the NDP’s Wab Kinew was elected.