EDINBURGH, April 18 The decision by British
Prime Minister Theresa May to call an early election on June 8
gives Scotland a chance to reinforce its democratic mandate to
hold an independence referendum, Scottish First Minister Nicola
Sturgeon suggested on Tuesday.
May unexpectedly announced the early election earlier in a
statement outside her Downing Street office in London.
"In terms of Scotland, this move is a huge political
miscalculation by the Prime Minister," Sturgeon, whose Scottish
National Party (SNP) is seeking a referendum on independence
from the United Kingdom, said in a statement.
"It will once again give people the opportunity to reject
the (Conservative government's) narrow, divisive agenda, as well
as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for
giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future," she
Scots voted by a 10-point margin in 2014 to stay part of the
United Kingdom, but Sturgeon's party wants a new referendum
within the next two years, arguing that the UK's vote to leave
the European Union changes circumstances fundamentally.
Scotland voted to stay in the EU in last June's referendum,
but the UK as a whole voted for Brexit.
(Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary; editing by Estelle Shirbon)