Sturgeon Takes Over From Salmond as Scotland’s First Minister

Nicola Sturgeon took over from Alex Salmond as the leader of Scotland’s semi-autonomous government in Edinburgh after a vote by lawmakers today.

Sturgeon, 44, had served as Salmond’s deputy and replaced him as leader of the Scottish National Party last week. Salmond, 59, resigned after failing to secure a “yes” vote in a referendum on independence in September. He said yesterday he would decide his next move in coming weeks, with bookmakers expecting him to run for the U.K.’s national assembly in May.

Sturgeon’s appointment makes her the fifth first minister since the Scottish Parliament was reconvened after almost three centuries in 1999. A former lawyer in Glasgow, Sturgeon has pledged to force the British government to make good on promises of more power for Scotland.

Salmond held the position for seven years, winning a majority for the SNP in 2011 along the way. That allowed his government to push through the referendum on independence.

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