London Set for 1st Muslim Mayor

London Set for 1st Muslim MayorLondon Set for 1st Muslim Mayor

Vote counting is underway after a series of regional elections across the UK.  In London, Sadiq Khan is expected to make history as the city’s first Muslim mayor. Preliminary results are expected by the end of the week.

Labor member Sadiq Khan, a former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants, looked set to win the mayorship of London, making him the first Muslim mayor in the capital’s history, DPA reported.

So far, Khan is leading his Conservative rival, Zac Goldsmith, with more than 40% of first preferences. London’s results are expected late on Friday. Khan has drawn fire over his religion, with PM David Cameron, a member of the Conservative party, accusing him of having ties with extremists.

In a weekly session in parliament on Wednesday, Cameron said Khan and other Labor candidates “share platform after platform after platform with extremists and anti-Semites”.

On Wednesday, Cameron repeatedly called on Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn to withdraw his remarks about groups Hamas and Hezbollah, accusing the opposition leader of referring to those organizations as his “friends”.

The votes in England and Wales are seen as a major test for the two parties. For Labor, which has not been in office nationally since 2010, Khan’s potential victory could prove a rare bright spot, with the party set to lose ground in much of the country.

In Scotland, too, once-dominant Labor run the risk of being forced back into third place by a resurgent Conservative party. The Scottish National Party was well on course for a second consecutive majority in the Scottish Assembly.

Despite the significance of the elections—dubbed “Super Thursday”—voter turnout was low. Some analysts attributed that to the fact that Britons will also be voting on June 23 in the much-touted Brexit referendum, deciding whether or not their country should remain in the European Union.