Edinburgh. Humza Yousaf, until now the head of the Scottish regional government’s Health, was chosen by the SNP on Monday to succeed Nicola Sturgeon at the head of the formation and independent executive with a promise to “achieve independence”.
The 37-year-old politician was elected with 52 percent of the votes of members of the Scottish National Party (SNP) at the end of an internal vote that lasted 15 days. He also becomes the first Muslim to lead a political major in the United Kingdom.
Yousaf will be appointed chief regional executive by the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, following the sudden resignation in February of Sturgeon, 52, who has ruled Scotland since 2014.
The regional government of this nation with 5.5 million inhabitants is responsible for key issues such as education, health and justice.
But the appointment of a new leader is important for the future of Britain, where divisions between the four nations – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – have been exacerbated by Britain’s effective departure from the European Union.
“The Scottish people need independence now more than ever and we will be the generation to get it,” Yousaf said after his election.
The British government rejected this new call for self-determination.
People want politicians “to focus on the issues that matter most, lower inflation, cost of living, reducing delays” in hospitals, Prime Minister spokesman Rishi Sunak said, “willing to work” with Yousaf on these issues.
During her eight years in power, Sturgeon consistently defended the independence program at the center, but in recent times this has lost steam.
According to a YouGov poll on March 13, 4 percent of respondents, up from 50 percent in February, favored independence. Including the incident, the proportion falls to 39 percent.
Scotland held a referendum in 2014, in which only 45 percent of Scots voted to leave the UK.
However, the cause of independence was revived with Brexit, which was opposed by 62 per cent of Scots, and the SNP defended a break with London in order to return to the European Union.
During the election campaign, Yousaf argued that the party spent too much time criticizing the wrongdoings of the British central government and not enough to create a vision of an independent Scotland.
Sturgeon announced her resignation on the 15th of March with the surprise of everyone, explaining that she no longer had the necessary energy after the wear and tear of two terms, whose last months were marked by serious setbacks.
His popularity began to decline as a result of the controversial Scottish law, which was passed without medical advice and from the age of 16 to facilitate sex change, and earned him the most bitter criticism from the feminist parties to whom he had always felt close.
Last year, the British High Court also ruled that the Scottish government could not hold a new independence referendum without the agreement of London, which is highly objectionable.
However, the leader claimed to have “full confidence” in his successor leading Scotland to independence.
Born in Glasgow, Yousaf took the oath in English and Urdu when he was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011, in honor of his paternal grandfather, who emigrated 60 years ago.
“They didn’t think in their wildest dreams that their grandson would be Prime Minister of Scotland the next day,” said the politician, who explained that he was a racial victim, especially after the attacks on September 11, 2001 in the United States.