Efi Xanthou on Thursday announced she has left the Green Party, bringing to an end a 23-year association.

In a letter written to explain her decision, she said, “for 23 years, the movement had become my whole life”, but various actions, which she perceived as undemocratic, had turned her away from the party.

The final straw, as she explained, was a Nicosia district party branch meeting on March 27. At the meeting, she said “an unacceptable motion not to put all the candidates [for Nicosia mayor] who asked for our support to a vote” was put forward.

She said that a mayoral candidate who had not asked for the party’s support was voted upon, but that another candidate who had asked for the party’s support was not.

In addition, she said, a questionnaire was sent by her party to the various mayoral candidates, but the answers given by the mayoral candidates were never shared with party members.

This sequence of events, she said, “made me understand that there is no hope and my decision to leave the party was made”.

She said that from that moment hence, she had begun writing the letter, and had spent weeks “in the process of writing, erasing, regretting, justifying, and coming back”.

She added that in her 23 years as a party member, she had “learned to fight, not to give up, to insist when I believe I am right and to fight to convince people.”

However, she said, “when you fight third parties who attack you, you do not expect your own people to attack you from behind.”

She also pointed out that of the 67 people elected to the party’s central committee in 2022, at least 15 have already resigned, and said “everything I have described above should have worried the movement and led to some introspection”.

She closed by saying she does not regret her 23 years as a party member, adding that “I learned and experienced a lot which I will always love and will never stop caring about.”

“Unfortunately, I can no longer in good conscience remain a member. I entered the political arena to bring change. A movement which turns a blind eye and avoids making a decision on the most important electoral procedures in the country does not want change.

“It just wants to exist, and that is not enough for me any longer,” she said.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail after announcing her resignation, she said she currently has “no intention” of joining any other political party as yet.

Xanthou, who had served as the party’s deputy leader, had run for the party’s leadership last November, but was defeated by the party’s former leader Giorgos Perdikis, who had stepped down in 2020, but stood again with the pledge to bring unity to a deeply divided party.

Party leader and deputy Charalambos Theopemptou resigned last October. A day after his resignation Green deputy Alexandra Attalides announced she was leaving the party. She subsequently joined fledgling party Volt Cyprus.