MP Alexandra Attalides announced on Monday her decision to join the Volt Cyprus party.
Attalides had defected from the Green Party in October, citing the party’s “catastrophic” position on the Cyprus problem and its lack of unity with European green parties.
Her joining of Volt Cyprus was announced a day after Giorgos Perdikis was re-elected as Green Party leader following a three-year hiatus.
Speaking on Monday, she said “when I entered politics two years ago, I had set myself the goal of contributing to the modernisation of the state, contributing to the fight against corruption, standing against the far right, whose influence was constantly increasing, and demanding a better and reunited place, and mainly to give a voice to a part of society that felt the existing situation does not express their will.”
“We still have a long way to go before we can say this country is changing. The challenges of climate change, migration, corruption, the unresolved Cyprus problem, the rise of the far right … loom large and cannot be tackled by repeating old practices,” she said.
She added that “the biggest challenge, however, is to make ordinary people part of the democratic process again.”
“The crisis of economy, society, environment, and values we are experiencing today is the result of years of reckless action. Bad party appointments, an unscrupulous client state … and of our reluctance to carry out reforms we should have made decades ago,” she said.
She added, “the decline of society can only be dealt with if we deal with its causes: the absence of the rule of law, the lack of institutional checks and balances, the problematic functioning of the justice systems and independent institutions which make each President and Attorney-general almost uncontrollable, the lack of transparency and accountability, and the ingrained sense of injustice.”
To this end, she said there must be a “long term plan to ensure social justice under conditions of economic stability and development.”
She added that Cyprus must “get rid of populist approaches that only lead to a vicious cycle of maintaining dead ends”, and the country needs to “address in political terms the racist rhetoric which is leading to social unrest and taking the country down a dangerous path.”
Additionally, she said the country must “show zero tolerance for the corruption which has infiltrated all areas of politics and reaches the highest offices,” and “work for those reforms which will ensure sustainable development, establish the rule of law, and improve the quality of life of those we are meant to serve.”
“We can no longer continue to ignore the impoverishment of a significant proportion of our citizens as a result of inflation and wage stagnation. We cannot in the name of development destroy our environment without considering the costs we levy on future generations,” she said.
She added, “if there is one thing I learned in my many years of activism, it is that real change only happens when the general public gains a voice in the corridors of power.”
“It is for this reason that I have decided to join Volt Cyprus – a European party, with young people, modern ideas, and structures, which has at its forefront the wellbeing and dignity of the public, human rights, the protection of the planet from climate change, and with which we are united by the same goals and the same vision for Cyprus and Europe,” she said.