Prime Minister Hun Sen has asked the Indian government to send observers for the national elections in July, amid wide-spread international concern about the legitimacy of the ballot following the dissolution of the opposition CNRP.

On an official visit to India, Hun Sen made the request to Indian Foreign Minister Sush-ma Swaraj while praising the South Asian country’s election track record.

“India is a big democratic country that can evaluate the election in Cambodia, whether it is free and fair for the coming election,” he said on his Facebook page on Saturday.

The Indian Foreign Ministry has not publicly responded to the request and the embassy in Phnom Penh did not respond to requests for comment.

National Election Committee spokesman Hang Puthea yesterday said he was not aware of the premier’s request and that the electoral body was open to foreign observers monitoring the elections.

“India has sold indelible inks for the elections,” he said, adding Indian observers working for NGOs had been present for the 2017 commune elections.