Alex Salmond elected Scotland's first Nationalist First Minister
Alex Salmond has been elected as the first SNP First Minister, pledging himself to govern "wholly and exclusively" in the Scottish national interest.
The 47 nationalist MSPs, with the support of two Greens, were able to command a majority of three over the Labour ranks who voted against him, while the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats abstained in the final vote.
Mr Salmond, watched by his wife, father and sister in Holyrood's VIP gallery, said he would have to rely on the strength of argument and not parliamentary strength as his minority administration sought cross-party support on an issue by issue basis.
"All of us in this Parliament have a responsibility to conduct ourselves in a way that respects the Parliament the people have chosen to elect," he said.
"That will take patience, maturity, and leadership on all sides of the chamber.
"Today I commit myself to leadership wholly and exclusively in the Scottish national interest. We will appeal for support policy by policy across this chamber.
"That is the Parliament the people of Scotland elected and that is the government that I will be proud to lead."
The other party leaders congratulated Mr Salmond, but the outgoing First Minister, Jack McConnell said he would lead Labour's opposition in holding the new government to account and he warned Mr Salmond that he did not have a mandate to create constitutional turmoil.
In a historic move, he is the first leader of a Nationalist administration, in a shattering reversal of Labour's long political dominance in Scotland
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
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