Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) is resigning from office after losing Thursday’s independence referendum.
Alex Salmond says he will stand down in November when a new leader of the party will be chosen
Scots voted to stay in the UK following an intense campaign. The ‘No’ campaign rallied 55 percent of votes against 45 percent ‘Yes’ votes.
“We lost the referendum vote but Scotland can still carry the political initiative,” he told journalists and supporters.
“For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.”
He said that he would not accept the SNP’s nomination to be a candidate for leader at the party’s annual conference in Perth in November, allowing a new party leader to be elected.
Given the SNP’s majority in the Scottish parliament, the new leader will also become first minister.
In terms of who will replace him, Salmond says there are a “number of eminently qualified and very suitable candidates for leader.”
The SNP deputy leader, Nicola Sturgeon, is widely seen as the most likely successor to the long-serving Salmond.