LONDON — Scotland’s governing party elected Humza Yousaf as its new leader, making him the first person of color and the first Muslim to lead the country of 5.5 million people.
Yousaf narrowly defeated rival Kate Forbes after a bruising five-week contest that exposed deep fractures within the pro-independence Scottish National Party as it faces an impasse in its quest to take Scotland out of the United Kingdom.
The 37-year-old Glasgow-born son of South Asian immigrants is set to be confirmed as first minister during a session of the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh.
Yousaf, who currently is Scotland’s health minister, beat two other Scottish lawmakers in a contest to replace First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. She unexpectedly stepped down last month after eight years as leader of the party and of Scotland’s semi-autonomous government.