The New Wave movement called on the public on Tuesday to form a social alliance and actively protest against those who undermine Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides, whom they described as the strongest counterweight to corruption.
In a written statement, the movement said it would not allow weakening of the institution at a time when the state and political parties gave away passports, led public organisations to bankruptcy, and engaged in clientelism by accepting donations and cash from tycoons.
The auditor-general “is one of the few institutions of our state that inspires trust and makes us proud as citizens thus it should be protected and strengthened.”
The call followed a statement by Akel leader Andros Kyprianou arguing that the institution of the auditor-general should be replaced by a council. President Nicos Anastasiades has also fired broadsides repeatedly against Michaelides.
The movement said the institution was especially important for Cyprus given the chronic corruption plaguing the political system.
“The fact that the government as well as the traditional parties of power are annoyed by the independent institution of the auditor-general and are trying to limit its powers does not surprise us, but we are particularly concerned,” the movement said.
It said Michaelides was a bold and upright public official and one did not have to agree with all his decisions to appreciate his work.
“His professional zeal, independence and honesty are enough for one to realise that the executive is targeting one of the few public officials who is really keeping it in check. It is clear … that the people who are upset are the people who are audited.”