BAKU, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- As Azerbaijan braces for its sixth presidential election Wednesday since its independence, Tuesday has turned out to be a "day of silence" in the oil-rich former- Soviet state.
Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission has registered 10 candidates for this year's presidential election - more than for any previous elections.
The only credible challenger is Camil Hasanli of the National Council of Democrat Forces, which unites the two major Musavat and People's Front parties along with several other smaller groups.
More than 1,000 foreign observers are expected to monitor the polls, primarily from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), various offices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Election Observation Mission.
A CIS short term observation mission for the Azerbaijani presidential election led by Sergei Lebedev, chairman of the executive committee and CIS executive secretary, has already arrived in Azerbaijan.
The two missions include nearly 300 observers representing Belarus, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the Ukraine and the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, as well as the CIS Executive Committee.
The Central Election Commission should announce whether any candidate has won within ten days of polling, and there is little doubt that the deadline will be met.
As many as 5.1 million voters aged above 18 are eligible to cast their votes in 5,491 poll stations within the country as well as Azerbaijan's diplomatic missions in 38 countries, according to the country's Central Election Commission.
The presidential election in Azerbaijan is held every five years.
It is widely believed that incumbent President Ilham Aliyev would face no serious challenge as he has had the country's constitution changed in 2009 to let him stand for a third five- year term.