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Humza Yousaf steps down as Scotland’s first minister and SNP leader: ‘Not willing to trade me…

Humza Yousaf

Scotland’s first Muslim minister Humza Yousaf has stepped down from the post of the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Scotland’s first minister.

Who is Humza Yousaf?

Humza Yousaf, who is Scotland’s youngest elected leader and the first Muslim to head a major political party, admitted to underestimating the backlash following the termination of the power-sharing agreement with the Scottish Greens.

“I have concluded that repairing the relationship across the political divide can only be done with someone else at the helm,” Yousaf acknowledged, announcing his resignation as SNP leader.

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Yousaf was born in Glasgow to Pakistani immigrants. While growing up in the country, Yousaf emerged as a skilled communicator and was tasked with uniting the SNP amid internal divisions. Assuming leadership of the SNP in March 2023 amid waning support for Scottish independence, Yousaf faced an arduous tenure cut short after just over a year in office.

Yousaf’s departure triggers the search for his successor and, consequently, a new first minister. The Scottish Parliament has 28 days to endorse any replacement. If a consensus cannot be reached, an election will be called.

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Humza Yousaf resigned from his position as Scotland’s first minister, some 13 months after assuming the role, due to the continuous political unrest in the nation. Humza also resigned from his position as head of the Scottish National Party (SNP).

After the SNP alliance with the Scottish Greens was thrown off, opposition parties scheduled two no-confidence resolutions for later this week, casting doubt on Yousaf’s leadership.

Humza Yousaf declared in a recent broadcast speech that he did not want to hold onto power at the expense of his “values and principles.”

Not willing to trade my values: Humza Yousaf

In a televised address, Yousaf stated, “I am not willing to trade my values and principles or do deals with whomever simply for retaining power,” reported ANI. 

The SNP has faced several challenges including a funding scandal and the departure of former leader Nicola Sturgeon last year. Internally, debates have arisen regarding the party’s approach to policy, as it seeks to reconnect with voters, Al Jazeera reported.

Despite initially expressing confidence in his ability to survive a no-confidence vote, Yousaf’s prospects dimmed over time. His attempts to negotiate with other parties to strengthen his minority government faced uncertainty by Monday.

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