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Former First Minister Alex Salmond launches political comeback with new pro-independence party

Former First Minister Alex Salmond launches political comeback with new pro-independence party

The former Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, has launched a new pro-independence party to contest the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections.

The 'Alba Party' will contest the Scottish Parliament elections with just one goal, an independent Scotland. He suggests that the plan is to build a 'supermajority' for independence, rather than an alternative to the Scottish National Party. 

In a press conference, Salmond said that he aims to bring more pro-independence MPs into the Scottish Parliament through the additional list system, resulting in the potential for upwards of 90 pro-independence MPs. He then stated that the plan would be to unite the independence-supporting parties in Parliament and push for independence through Parliament, rather than the SNP being the only vehicle for independence.

Setting out its aims, the Alba Party said;

"National independence for Scotland as an immediate necessity, and overwhelming priority, achieved by democratic means through a vote of people resident in Scotland."

"The promotion of all Scottish interests, and the building of an economically successful, environmentally responsible and socially-just independent country, through the pursuit of a social democratic programme."

"The acceptance by the Scottish people of a written constitution for the newly independent country; defending the rights, liberties and equality of all citizens before the law."

The party will be only contesting list votes, rather than winning constituency votes, meaning that Salmond may be able to re-enter the Scottish Parliament without representing a specific constituency. It also is unlikely to reduce the SNP's number of seats in the Scottish parliament, meaning that it likely is not a response to the recent inquiry into the SNP's handling of sexual assault allegations against Salmond.

In his first speech as leader of the Alba Party, Salmond said; 

"Today I am announcing the public launch of a new political force - the Alba Party."

"Alba will contest the upcoming Scottish elections as a list only party under my leadership seeking to build a super majority for independence in the Scottish parliament."

"Over the next six weeks we will promote new ideas about taking Scotland forward giving primacy to economic recovery from the pandemic and the achievement of independence for our country."

"We expect to field a minimum of four candidates in each regional list and are hoping to elect Alba MSPs from every area of Scotland."

With just weeks until the 7th May vote, it is likely that this party could significantly shake up the race and reinvigorate the independence movement that has been faltering in recent weeks.

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