June 3, 2023

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Index – Abroad – A man of Muslim origin becomes Scotland’s new Prime Minister

The previous Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced on February 15th that she would be stepping down from the leadership of the SNP completely unexpectedly, so the Scottish First MinisterAnd officially. Three candidates are vying for the SNP leadership: in addition to Hamza Yusuf, finance minister Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, who served as local communities secretary in the Scottish government until her resignation in December.

Why is the first minister not the prime minister?

Because there can only be one Prime Minister in the United Kingdom, this is what is called the Prime Minister in Scotland, and that is the current Conservative Rishi Sun. The First Minister of Scotland is elected by the Scottish Parliament and formally appointed by the King. Other Ministers of the Scottish Government and Scottish Legislature are appointed by the First Minister.

According to the results of the counting of votes announced on Monday, out of 72,169 registered and eligible members of the party, 50,490 exercised their right to vote. Ash Regan has already been eliminated in the first round of vote counting, as only 11.1 per cent of SNP members voted for him. Yusuf became the new leader of the Scottish National Party with 52.1 per cent of the vote based on first and second place voter preferences based on the second round of vote counting, with Hamza Yusuf receiving 26,032 votes and Kate Forbes 23,890 votes.

And the leaders of the opposition parties contested for the post of prime minister without exception.

MPs voted for candidates one at a time, and each candidate received all of their party’s votes. Thus, Scottish Conservative Party Leader Douglas Rose collected 31 votes, Scottish Labor Party Leader Anas Sarwar 22 votes and Liberal Democrat Scottish Branch Leader Alex Cole-Hamilton four votes.

At the same time, Hamza Yusuf received the votes of the SNP’s 64 MPs, and seven representatives of Scotland’s Green Party, which politicizes in alliance with the Scottish National Party, backed him in a vote on Tuesday afternoon. As a result, Yusuf secured a majority in Tuesday’s Prime Ministerial election with 71 votes in the 129-member Edinburgh Assembly.

In the person of Yusuf, a Muslim leader became the leader of a British political party of national importance for the first time.

He also became Scotland’s first Muslim First Minister.

The new first minister, 38, was born in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, and has represented one of the city’s constituencies in the Edinburgh parliament since 2011 as a member of the SNP faction. Yusuf’s father’s family immigrated to Scotland from Pakistan in the 1960s, and his mother’s family also immigrated to Scotland from Kenya with Pakistani roots.

It would bring Scotland back into the EU

In his first speech since Tuesday’s parliamentary vote, Hamza Youssef expressed his belief in Scottish independence. He said if the UK government was allowed to “arbitrarily veto” decisions of the Edinburgh Assembly, the Scottish government would be less effective in achieving its primary goals, including independence.

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After the results of the SNP’s leadership contest were announced, Youssef had already confirmed earlier in the day that Scottish independence was the party’s goal. He did not set a target date for achieving this, but said “we will be the generation that wins independence for Scotland”.

Yussuf also stressed that Scotland wants to return to the EU as an independent country.

His predecessor, Nicola Sturgeon, set October 19, 2023 as the date for the next referendum on Scottish independence. However, last November, the British Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish Parliament could not make a law on its own without the consent of the British government to call for a new Scottish independence referendum, as it would affect powers. Established by the 1999 Act which created the most extensive right of self-determination in Scotland.

It should be remembered that a referendum on Scottish independence was already held in September 2014, but those opposed to secession won with a 55 percent majority, and the conservative British government stubbornly rejected the recognition of another Scottish independence referendum. However, a referendum remains on the agenda in Scotland again after the 2016 referendum on British EU membership, with a national average of 51.89 percent of participants voting to leave. The Scots voted to remain.

Since then, Nicola Sturgeon has consistently maintained that a new independence referendum is essential, despite clearly stating that Scotland is “torn” out of the EU.

(Cover photo by Hamza Yusuf on March 28, 2023. Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)