Humza Yousaf succeeds Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s next leader


Edinburg, March 27 (IANS) Humza Yousaf has been elected the first minority ethnic leader of the Scottish National party in a narrow victory that confirmed deep divisions over policy within his party, according to a media report.

Yousaf is almost certain to be confirmed as Scotland’s next first minister in a nominal vote at Holyrood on Tuesday, but he now has to bridge the divides by bringing the SNP’s warring wings together, The Guardian reported.

Widely seen as Nicola Sturgeon’s preference as her successor, Yousaf defeated his closest rival, Kate Forbes, by a narrower than expected 52 per cent to 48 per cent after second preference votes cast by supporters of the third candidate, Ash Regan, who came last in the first round, were counted. The turnout was 70 per cent, The Guardian reported.

Yousaf, who has become the first minority ethnic leader of the Scottish government, has had the advantage and the curse of being seen as the continuity candidate and Nicola Sturgeon’s unacknowledged favourite, The Guardian reported.

Of all the three candidates, Yousaf (37) was the only enthusiast for Sturgeon’s approach and earned by far the most endorsements from SNP parliamentarians and ministers, notably including Sturgeon’s deputy and closest political friend, John Swinney, himself a former leader of the party.

In many ways, Yousaf represents the “new Scotland” that Sturgeon and her predecessor, Alex Salmond, have sought to project through the SNP – and he is seen as the role model of an inclusive, multiracial country and an inclusive nationalism, The Guardian reported.


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