By Staff Reporter
MP Giorgos Perdikis has been elected head of the Green Party after an absence from the leadership of several years.
Perdikis, though he remained the party’s sole representative at the House, had handed over the reins of party general-secretary to Ioanna Panayiotou around 2009. Panayiotou was appointed environment commissioner by the Anastasiades government early last year, leaving the party without an official leader until now.
The party held it’s elections on Sunday making official Perdikis’ de facto leadership for the past 18 months or so. It said it was changing the title of party leader from general-secretary to president as the process now involved a vote by members rather than a selection by committee.
Savas Philippou was elected deputy president of the party, which was formed in October 1995.
In his speech on Sunday, Perdikis spoke of the first gathering at what was then Intercollege in Nicosia with no more than two dozen environmental activists looking for a way to express their frustration with the existing political parties.
“We felt we had to upgrade our role in Cypriot society, to take part in shaping the present and the future, and to make our voices heard,” he said. “We had no leader and no money. We were a small group of young people of all ages with ideas and ideals,” he added.
Perdikis said many had predicted a quick end to “the green political experiment”. “This was expected in a country dominated by political incumbents and parties for decades. It is worth noting that in those nineteen years, at least a dozen other political movements disappeared from the scene,” he said.
“The fact that the ecologists survived is in itself is a feat. And they not only have they survived but have been able to maintain a high rate of participation in the political process.”
He called on members for the party to go forward “louder, more assertive, more successful, more targeted and more effective”.
The party’s new central committee will meet on October 26 to elect other officials including a spokesperson.