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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Wales. Vaughan Gething will be the first black head of government in Europe

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Vaughan Gething, the current Minister for Economy, has become the new leader of the Welsh Labor Party and will become the new First Minister of Wales. “I have the honor of becoming the first black leader of any European country,” Gething noted.

According to the results announced on Saturday elections leader of the Welsh Labor Party, Vaughan Gething, obtained 51.7 percent. votes of party members, and his only rival, Minister for Education and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles – 48.3 percent. Vaughan will most likely be sworn in as first minister on Wednesday, after a vote in the Welsh Parliament. He will replace Mark Drakeford in this role, who announced his resignation in December 2023, after five years in office.

READ ALSO: Report: Welsh independence is a viable alternative but would be a challenge

– Today we are turning a page in the book of our nation's history. A history we write together. Not only because I have the honor of becoming the first black leader in any European country, but also because there is a generational shift, said 50-year-old Vaughan Gething, who is 19 years younger than Drakeford, after the results were announced. Vaughan was born in Zambia to a Welsh father and a Zambian mother, but his family moved to the UK when he was two.

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The new Prime Minister of Wales

– Devolution – Welsh solutions to Welsh problems – is something that is in my blood. I always knew about it, he noted. “Devolution is not something I had to get used to, to adapt to, or to apologize for,” he said. Devolution is the transfer of competences of higher-level bodies to lower-level bodies.

The election of Vaughan Gething also means that the governments of three of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom will be headed by politicians from ethnic minorities, because British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (whose competences also include all issues related to England) is of Indian origin, and the first minister Scotland Humza Yousaf is the son of immigrants from Pakistan.

Main photo source: Ben Birchall/Forum

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