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Can new Scotish first minister deliver independence?

Saeed Pourreza
Press TV, London

The margins were slim, the result momentous. Humza Yusuf, a Muslim of Pakistani and Kenyan descent, has become the leader of the Scottish National Party after a bruising leadership campaign.

The party he leads has a slim majority in the Scottish Parliament, and been working in coalition with the progressive Green Party, for whom Yusuf who has pledged continuity with his liberal predecessor Nicola Sturgeon's era is perhaps the right successor compared to economy minister Kate Forbes whose campaign got off to a rocky start over her socially conservative views.

The new First Minister faces major challenges though: Record high National Health Service waiting times under him as health minister, Nicola Sturgeon's education promises still to be fulfilled, and the UK government's blocking of a cross party act of the Scottish Parliament on gender self-id which exposed deep divisions within the party. Plus the issue of Scottish independence.

As First Minister, Humza Yusuf has promised to lead for all in the country of five and half million. And despite the country being stuck around 50-50 on independence from the UK and Westminster, he has pledged to make it happen.

The last unsuccessful independence referendum was held in 2014 and the most recent attempt at holding a second one without the consent of Westminster was struck down by the UK's supreme court.
Outgoing First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon tendered her resignation to the UK King on Tuesday. It remains to be seen if her successor will make her the last one.


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