Scotland: surprise resignation of the independence prime minister

Scotland: surprise resignation of independence prime minister< /p> UPDATE DAY

'I am a human being': To everyone's surprise, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced her resignation on Wednesday after eight years in power, a departure which deals a blow to the desire for independence in the British nation. 

The one who again described Scottish independence on Wednesday as the fight of a lifetime, which she bore with patience and determination in the face of opposition from London, decided to throw in the towel, explaining that he lacked the energy after more than 15 years in positions of responsibility.

Very popular until recently but weakened by a recent law facilitating gender change in Scotland, the 52-year-old leader told the press in Edinburgh that she would step down as soon as the Scottish National Party (SNP) had appointed its successor.

“In my head and in my heart, I know that the time has come, that it is the right time for me, for my party and for the country,” she said. declared, visibly moved, sometimes seeming on the verge of tears.

“This work is a privilege, but also very difficult,” she said. “I am a human being”, pleaded the one who still said in January, after the resignation of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, to have “full of energy”.

“I would have been able to do a few more months, maybe six months, a year,” she said. “But over time, I would have had less and less energy for my work and I can only do it 100%, it's what the country deserves.”

Claiming to have matured her decision for a long time, she cited the changes in her family, the difficulty of being able to “have a coffee with a friend, or go out, alone, for a walk”.

His departure, without a successor obvious, deals a blow to the independence cause, the fight of which she was the undisputed figure, determined and appreciated by the public.

Born in the industrial town of Irvine, south-west of Glasgow, Nicola Sturgeon joined the SNP at the age of 16 as deputy youth coordinator. Peter Murrell, her husband, is the party's chief executive.

She took the lead of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Scottish government after the resignation of her predecessor Alex Salmond in 2014. The Scots then voted 55% in favor of remaining within the United Kingdom.

Brexit effect

She had since, with patience and determination, resumed the fight for independence, reinvigorated by Brexit which the majority of Scots had opposed . She has since been fighting for the organization of a new vote, firmly rejected by London.

She has accumulated electoral successes, obtaining once again in May 2021 a pro-independence majority in the local Parliament with the Greens.

Fluctuating, the polls have regularly leaned in favor of a “yes” to the independence in recent years, especially during the pandemic whose management by London, under Boris Johnson, was highly criticized.

But her electoral strategy of wanting to transform the legislative elections, scheduled in less than two years, into a de facto referendum on secession, was little appreciated by voters.

If she assured that she had not taken her decision due to “short-term pressures”, Nicola Sturgeon was personally weakened by the adoption in December of a very controversial law facilitating gender transition, permitted from the age of 16 and without medical advice.

London has said it wants to oppose it and the measure has been criticized by feminists, including best-selling Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who lives in Scotland. Critics of the text believe that sexual predators can use it to gain access to places reserved for women.

Just after the vote, a scandal came to give grist to the mill of its detractors: a transgender woman convicted of raping women before her transition had been incarcerated in a women's prison, creating strong reactions.

She was eventually transferred to a men's prison, pushing Nicola Sturgeon to a rare turnaround.