Hamza Yusuf was sworn in as Prime Minister of Scotland on Wednesday, becoming the first Muslim head of government in Western Europe, but amid disagreements within his party.
Joseph, 37, is the youngest leader of the Scottish National Party and has promised to reinvigorate the party’s campaign for independence.
But after winning the race to succeed Nicola Sturgeon on Monday, his leadership faces question marks after rival Kate Forbes refused to join his government.
Youssef offered the outgoing Minister of Finance a lower position, despite her achieving a result that came close to winning the elections. And she got 48 percent of the preferential votes for party members, compared to 52 percent for Youssef.
Youssef’s allies said the reason was related to Forbes’ desire to devote more time to her family after her recent birth. But in newspaper reports, her supporters criticize the offer for the post.
Yusuf spends his day gathering members of his cabinet after being sworn in by Lord Colin Sutherland, head of the highest Scottish courts.
The new First Minister pledged to “serve His Majesty King Charles faithfully” despite his public support for the abolition of the monarchy in favor of electing a President for Scotland.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak congratulated Yusuf in a phone call immediately after the Scottish Parliament elected him as Prime Minister after winning the leadership of the Scottish National Party on Tuesday.
Yusuf said the contact was “constructive”, adding that he had stressed to Sunak that London should respect “the democratic wishes of the people and parliament of Scotland”.
Sunak, for his part, stressed that the two governments should work together on day-to-day policy issues, according to Downing Street.