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‘Dream will never die’

‘Dream will never die’
He will also resign as leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) after the ‘No’ side won Thursday’s referendum by 2,001,926 votes to 1,617,989 for ‘Yes’, BBC reported on Friday.

The national split of the vote was 55 percent for ‘No’ to 45 percent for ‘Yes’.

‘For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die,’ Salmond said from Bute House in Edinburgh, the first minister’s official residence.

He told journalists: ‘I am immensely proud of the campaign that Yes Scotland fought and particularly of the 1.6m voters who rallied to that cause.’

Salmond also said there were a ‘number of eminently qualified and very suitable candidates for leader’, although the current deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, also deputy SNP leader, would be seen as a clear frontrunner.

But Salmond has reasons to be cheerful despite failing to lead his country to independence. He has emerged from the campaign with more powers for Scotland coming his way.

A chubby-faced former Royal Bank of Scotland economist with a debonair manner, the 59-year-old has missed out on his lifetime’s dream, which seemed so close a week ago as the polls rested on a knife-edge. But even though the dream is over, for now at least, Salmond has a promise to cash in from British party leaders who vowed to give his regional government sweeping new powers on tax-raising and spending to win over voters. ‘Scotland has by majority decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country,’ Salmond said in his concession speech in Edinburgh on Friday.

He was also quick to remind the parties of their promises. ‘The unionist parties made vows late in the campaign to devolve more powers to Scotland. Scotland will expect these to be honoured in rapid course,’ he said.

Leaders’ speak

As Scotland on Friday chose not to break away from the UK, the British prime minister David Cameron said it is time for ‘our United Kingdom to come together, and to move forward’.

In Brussels, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso welcomed the decision of the Scottish people to maintain the unity of the UK. Asserting that the US has ‘no closer ally’ than the UK, President Barack Obama hailed the result of Scotland’s historic referendum.
Agencies

Agencies

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