Scottish parliament backs new SNP leader Humza Yousaf to become first minister

Scottish parliament backs new SNP leader Humza Yousaf to become first minister
Опубликовано: Tuesday, 28 March 2023 14:30

Yousaf will be sworn in as first minister at the Court of Session Wednesday.

LONDON — Humza Yousaf will replace Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s first minister tomorrow, after the Scottish parliament nominated the new SNP leader in a vote Tuesday.

The 37-year-old was elected as leader of the pro-independence SNP leader Monday, narrowly defeating rival Kate Forbes following a divisive leadership contest. After second preference votes were taken into account, he won 52.1 percent of the vote compared to 47.9 percent for Forbes.

In a vote among lawmakers among Scotland’s Holyrood parliament, every single SNP MSP — including Forbes and Sturgeon — voted for the new leader to become head of Scotland’s devolved government.

They were joined in voting for Yousaf by MSPs representing the Scottish Greens, who following his election renewed the co-operation agreement that sees the pro-independence environmentalists hold power as part of the Scottish government. Together the two parties hold a majority in Holyrood.

Currently first minister-designate, Yousaf will formally become first minister tomorrow morning when he is sworn in at the Court of Session. He will be Scotland’s youngest leader since devolution, as well as the first Muslim to head up the devolved government.

Yousaf will then begin the process of assembling his cabinet. It is thought that he is likely to offer a role to Forbes, who was sharply critical of his governing record during the campaign.

The long-serving Sturgeon’s resignation as party leader in February kicked off the leadership contest, which proved to be a fractious contest between Yousaf, Forbes and the third, anti-establishment, candidate Ash Regan.

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