On Tuesday, parliamentarians chose the former cabinet secretary for health and social car now the head of the ruling party to lead Scotland.
The offspring of Muslim Asian immigrants, Yousaf is 37 years old. He was expected to be chosen as the first minister after Sturgeon’s departure from the Scottish National Party (SNP) last month.
Yousaf admitted that replacing Sturgeon would leave him with “some very big shoes to fill,” but he promised to “continue to ensure that Scotland is a positive, progressive voice on the global stage.”
He then continued, “I will also vigorously advocate for independence, and in the meantime, I will make the best possible use of this parliament’s existing powers”.
Yousaf promised on Monday to be “the generation that delivers independence for Scotland,” and said he would ask London promptly to allow another vote.
He added on Monday that he would lead the SNP in the interests of all party members, and not only those who voted for him.
He said that the issues he faced as the leader of the governing party were both difficult and complex and needed to be prioritized.
Yousaf pledged to do his best to tackle the harm caused by the mounting cost-of-living pressure piled on the Scots of the United Kingdom.
Yousaf thanked all those who had helped him on the path to become the leader of SNP, particularly his grandparents, who had migrated to Scotland decades ago.
“My final thanks is to my grandparents. Unfortunately they are no longer alive to see this day. I’m forever thankful that my grandparents made the trip from Punjab to Scotland over 60 years ago as immigrants to this country who knew barely a word of English. They could not have imagined in their wildest dreams that their grandson would one day be on the cusp of being the first minister of Scotland.”
Yousaf said the clear message of his being elected to SNP’s leadership was that his Islamic faith and color of skin had not been an obstacle to stop him from becoming the Party’s leader. Of course, he also noted that the journey from Punjab to Parliament had been a long one, taking several generations to finish.