John Swinney, the main contender for the Scottish presidency

John Swinney, the main contender for the Scottish presidency

Scottish MP John Sweeney He announced his candidacy for success Humza Yousaf As First Minister of Scotland, a race in which he now appears to be the favorite Kate Forbeswho was supposed to be his rival, ruled out running in the primary and publicly supported him.

Swinney, 60, was leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) between 2000 and 2004 and served as Deputy First Minister between 2014 and 2023, in successive governments ofAlex Salmond I Nicola Sturgeon. He now aspires to be at the head of the executive authority, after Youssef resigned.

“I want to unite the Scottish National Party and unite Scotland for independence,” he declared while announcing his candidacy in Edinburgh, stressing that he wants to build a modern, diverse and dynamic state that guarantees opportunities for all citizens. His name was already being floated among potential replacements, as was the case with Kate Forbes, who left government after losing the previous primary and revealed, against all odds, that she would not try again. “John has my support,” he explained on social media.

While he acknowledged that there may be people who are disappointed by his decision, Forbes confirmed that he had spoken directly to Swinney, who at the same time offered him an important role in this future phase, in which the SNP would be thrown into the minority.

The party now relies on external support to move forward with any reforms, after the collapse of the coalition with the Green Party last week. Initially, Youssef was willing to continue in office, but changed his mind three days later to open a new succession process that would predictably determine who would be the candidate in the next election.

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