Diko leader Nicholas Papadopoulos on Tuesday challenged Elam leader Christos Christou to a debate over the latter’s alleged proposal to give passports to immigrants so they leave the country.

“The people saw with their eyes and heard with their ears the Elam leader proposing, as a solution to the issue of immigration, that passports and travel documents be given to all immigrants,” Papadopoulos said.

He added, “now we have revealed what dangerous things they have proposed, Elam’s only response is that their positions have been distorted.”

He said that it was for this reason that he would like to challenge Christou to a debate “on all matters”.

“If the Elam leader believes his party’s positions have been distorted, let him come and clarify them in a debate on immigration, the positions of our parties on the economy, the Cyprus problem, and any other issue he wishes to debate,” he added.

He also said that “dialogue is a basic foundation of democracy” and that “the world must know the truth and all of our positions, so let them stop hiding.”

Elam’s alleged proposal came to light last week, with the party swiftly denying that such a policy had been put forward.

However, Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou was swift to condemn the idea, describing it as dangerous and unrealistic.

“If such a proposal was implemented, Cyprus would become an attractive destination for immigration,” he said, adding that if Elam had “done a little homework”, it would have seen that.