In Scotland, Humza Yousaf elected by the separatists to become the new Prime Minister

Scottish local government will soon have a new leader. Humza Yousaf was elected Monday, March 27, by members of the Scottish independence party SNP to succeed Nicola Sturgeon and thus resume the fight for self-determination.

Aged 37, this close friend of Nicola Sturgeon inherits the delicate mission of reviving an independence movement which is coming up against London’s obstinate refusal to authorize the holding of a new referendum. Until then Minister of Health, Humza Yousaf becomes the first Muslim to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom. He is to be elected Prime Minister on Tuesday by the local Parliament in Edinburgh.

“We will be the generation that will achieve independence for Scotland”launched Humza Yousaf in a speech delivered just after the announcement of his victory, stressing that ” the people “ scottish a “need independence now, more than ever”.

Later in the day, the British government rejected Humza Yousaf’s call for independence. Scots and Britons as a whole want politicians “that focus on the issues most important to them: reducing inflation, dealing with the cost of living crisis and reducing waiting lists” in the health system, said a spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, adding that the latter “pleased to work” with Mr Yousaf.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Surprise resignation of Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland: “I am a human being, in addition to being a politician”

Following an internal ballot triggered by the surprise resignation of Mme Sturgeon last month after eight years in office, he won against Finance Minister Kate Forbes, with controversial Conservative positions, and Ash Regan, a former member of local government. No candidate having collected more than 50% of the votes in this ballot where the voters rank the candidates in order of preference, he won the second count, collecting 52.1% of the votes. More than 50,000 SNP members took part in the vote, for an electorate of just over 72,000 members.

The local government of Scotland, a territory with 5.5 million inhabitants, is responsible for many subjects, including education, health and justice. More broadly, this election has potentially serious consequences for the future of the United Kingdom, whose divisions between its four constituent nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) have been aggravated by Brexit – 62% of Scots had opposed the divorce between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

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Progressive positions

But support for independence, at the heart of the SNP’s program, has stagnated. According to a YouGov survey of March 13, 46% of respondents are in favor of independence (against 50% in February). Including the undecided, the proportion drops to 39%. In the referendum held in 2014, 45% of Scots voted for independence.

According to the Ipsos institute, Kate Forbes was the favorite candidate of the Scots, with 27% of favorable opinions, against 22% for Humza Yousaf and 14% for Ash Regan. But within the SNP, Mr. Yousaf came out on top (38%). Kate Forbes is not far behind (37%). Kate Forbes had a rocky start to the campaign due to her conservative views. She is opposed to gay marriage and abortion.

Humza Yousaf has progressive positions on social issues and anchored on the left on the economy, wishing for example to increase taxes on the richest. He is, however, criticized for his record in various positions in the Scottish government.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Surprise resignation of Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland: “I am a human being, in addition to being a politician”

Nicola Sturgeon, 52, announced her resignation on February 15 to everyone’s surprise, explaining that she no longer had the necessary energy after eight years in power. She also found herself in trouble after London blocked a controversial law making it easier to change gender. This law was to allow the recognition of gender change, without medical advice and from the age of 16.

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But Nicola Sturgeon claimed she had “all confidence” on the fact that his successor would manage to lead Scotland to independence.

The World with AFP


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