Humza Yousaf has been elected by members of the Scottish National Party (SNP) as the new leader, thus replacing Nicola Sturgeon, who announced her surprise resignation as First Minister of Scotland just a month ago.
Yousaf, who held the Health portfolio, will have to wait until Tuesday to be appointed as Scotland’s chief minister after a vote at Holyrood, on the sheer principle that he has a large majority.
The new leader of the Scottish Nationalists, the fifth since it was founded in 1979, minister Kate Forbes won the second round and with 52% of the vote from the financial affairs. Both had previously left Safety Minister Ash Regan without incident.
After learning the result, Yousaf asked his colleagues to join him, aware of the deep differences that exist within the SNP, as the three candidates testified over the six weeks that the small campaign to replace Sturgeon had lasted. “We will be the generation that wins Scottish independence,” he said.
“The leadership election can be painful by its very nature. But we are in the SNP family. For the last five weeks we have been competitors (…) We are no longer Team Humza, nor Team Ash, nor Team Kate, we are one team. We will be a team, we will be the generation that gives independence to Scotland.”
“If I am elected as your first minister in Parliament, please know that I will be the most important minister for all of Scotland,” said Yousaf, who promised to work “in the interest of all” citizens beyond academics.
Yousaf, 37, is the first Muslim to lead one of the main political parties in Britain and one of the three most qualified candidates since 2012 in the Scottish cabinet, already being, for example, minister for transport or justice.
On the other hand, after being congratulated by Sturgeon, who, after recognizing that two other candidates had risen to “challenge” these primaries, wanted “only the success” of Yousaf, whom he defined as “an excellent leader.” “I couldn’t be prouder of what happened to me,” he said.
Although Sturgeon was careful not to express any public preference for any of the three candidates, Yousaf appears to be the favorite and therefore a continuation of the betting, according to media both within and outside Scotland.
He was the only one of the three candidates who stated that he would try to overturn London’s blockade of the right to transfer in court, an embarrassment that for some ended up prompting Sturgeon’s resignation.
But he distanced himself from the advice of Sturgeon to present the upcoming elections as a reference to some kind of independence and declared his intention to continue his efforts to achieve great parties, as “it is not enough” to take this step, if support. the self-determination case moves only between 50 and 50 percent.