FThe air is getting thinner for Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon. The Committee of Inquiry, which has treated its predecessor Alex Salmond with its attitude, holds up against most of its “false” statements and “potential violations of the code of conduct” for public officials. Soon after the decision – before the official publication of the final report – was launched in the media, opposition politicians demanded the resignation of the head of government. Two months before the Scottish general election, Sturgeon threatens to become an obligation to his Scottish National Party (SNP).
In an initial response, Sturgeon questioned the fairness of opposition lawmakers on the inquiry committee. He made his own photograph and even made it publicly known before he could appear as a witness, she said. At the same time, Sturgeon reiterated that everything he said about what he said during an eight-hour session earlier this month stood with him.
“She will not go”
During his interrogation, Sturgeon repeatedly stated that his portrayal of events may seem impossible, but that is exactly how they happened. In short, it is about his predecessor’s accusation that he and confidants in the party wanted to harm him by unfair means and discredit him as a public figure. Salmond was charged with sexual harassment by employees. Internal government inquiries were later found biased and unfair by a judge, and a criminal court eventually acquitted him of all charges. Sturgeon’s assurances that he came to know late about the allegations and always stayed out of the process were challenged by numerous witnesses, documents and leaked text messages.
Sturgeon may follow the fact that the committee of MPs does not certify that it has “knowingly” violated the code of conduct. If the word had appeared, a resignation would be unavoidable, according to the Scottish reading. Many eyes are now on a parallel meeting – led by a professional lawyer – the inquiry committee that wants to present its results in the coming week. Until the committee comes to an even stronger decision, Sturgeon can defend itself in the Easter break. Scottish commentators are skeptical that she will then turn to a “public court”. The Times on Friday quoted a disheveled Scottish Conservative MP as saying: “You will not go, but will contest the election and say: Scottish people should do me justice.”
The feud between the two most popular figures of the independence movement has now left its mark on Scotland’s nervous voting landscape. The majority in favor of independence from the United Kingdom is no longer as clear as it was in the previous months. The SNP should also fear an anticipated landslide victory on 6 May. According to the latest poll, the party may lack the vote for an absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament. Sturgeon had declared a referendum for a second independence referendum months before the election. Should he run as head of government and party, voters’ decisions are likely to mix with other motives.
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