Scotland welcomes its first Muslim prime minister
Scottish independencies elected Humza Yousaf to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as party leader and prime minister, after he pledged to lead Scotland to achieve independence from Britain in this generation.
With this victory, Yousaf, 37, inherits the sensitive task of re-launching the independence movement, which is losing momentum and collides with London’s refusal to allow a new referendum, which was once again expressed by the British government on Monday.
Humza Yousaf was Minister of Health and became the first Muslim to head a major political party in Britain.
He’s supposed to be elected prime minister on Tuesday before the local parliament in Edinburgh.
“We’ll be the generation that will achieve the independence of Scotland,” Yousaf said in his victory speech, stressing that the Scottish people need independence from now on, more than ever.
A spokesman for the British Prime Minister said that Rishi Sunak looks forward to working with the new leader of the Scottish National Party, but rejects the latter’s call for a new referendum on independence.
The British government spokesman told reporters that Scots and all Britons want politicians to focus on the issues they care about most: bringing down inflation, tackling the rising standard of living and the hospital backlog.
At the end of an internal poll organized after Sturgeon’s sudden resignation last month after eight years in power, Yousaf was ahead of both Finance Minister Kate Forbes, who adopts controversial conservative positions, and Ash Reagan, a former member of the local government.
None of the candidates received more than 50% of the votes in this ballot, as voters classify the candidates in order of preference, and he won the second sorting, when he won 52.1%.
More than 50,000 SNP members participated in voting out of an electorate of more than 72,000 members.
The local government in Scotland, a county of 5.5 million people, can decide on several issues, including education, health and the judiciary.
More broadly, this vote may have major repercussions for the future of the United Kingdom, as divisions have increased between the four constituent regions of the country (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) after Brexit.