The search for Scotland’s next First Minister has begun following Nicola Sturgeon’s surprise decision to step down.
The SNP leader made the announcement after more than eight years on the job. Sturgeon, on the other hand, intends to stay in office until her successor is elected.
The SNP’s national executive committee will meet Thursday evening to set a date for a leadership election.
Since there is no obvious successor, the party’s first leadership election in almost 20 years may feature a discussion on strategy and future course. Before going on maternity leave, Kate Forbes served as the finance secretary. She might be replaced by Angus Robertson, the secretary of the constitution, or John Swinney, the deputy first minister.
The names of Justice Secretary Keith Brown and Health Secretary Humza Yousaf have come up as potential candidates, however, no one has expressed their intention to stand.
The announcement was made by Sturgeon at a news conference held at her official Edinburgh residence, Bute House. Sturgeon insisted that she had been weighing up the decision for some time.
To serve people well, a politician must be willing to make way for someone else when it is the right time, she said,
Sturgeon added that she did not decide to step down in response to the “latest period of pressure”, which includes controversies over trans prisoners, gender recognition reforms and the strategy on independence.
The party’s ruling body must now decide whether to proceed with a special conference scheduled for March to discuss Sturgeon’s strategy of using the next general election as a de facto independence referendum.