Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"Palestinians Side With Abbas on Early Elections," Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research, January 25, 2007.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Residents of the Gaza Strip and West Bank believe a new presidential election should take place soon, according to a poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion. 59.5 per cent of respondents are in favour of the proposal.

Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah faction won the January 2005 presidential ballot with 62.32 per cent of all cast ballots. In January 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council election, securing 74 of the 112 seats at stake. Ismail Haniyeh officially took over as prime minister in March. The Israeli government believes Hamas is directly responsible for the deaths of 377 citizens in a variety of attacks, which include dozens of suicide bombings.

In December 2006, Abbas said he would call early presidential and legislative elections, adding, "I have decreed the formation of the government, and I can sack it whenever I want to."

Abbas is currently the top presidential candidate with 35 per cent, followed by Haniyeh with 26.1 per cent, and jailed Fatah member Marwan Barghouti with 21.8 per cent. Support is lower for Hamas member and Legislative Council speaker Abdel Aziz Duwaik, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar, and former Fatah prime minister Ahmed Qorei.

Yesterday, Abbas discussed the current state of affairs, saying, "Early elections remain a serious option should the negotiations (to form a unity government) collapse. I have not asked Hamas to recognize Israel. But as the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader, I urge the government to honour its Palestinian, Arab, and international commitments, i.e. the decisions and agreements endorsed by the National Assembly, the Arab Initiative, and the resolutions of the international legitimacy."

Polling Data

Are you in favour or not in favour of conducting a presidential election at present?

Strongly in favour


Somewhat in favour


Somewhat opposed


Strongly opposed


Who is your favourite candidate for the Palestinian Authority presidency in the next presidential elections?

Mahmoud Abbas


Ismail Haniyeh


Marwan Barghouthi


Abdel Aziz Duwaik


Mahmoud Zahar


Ahmed Qorei






Source: Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO)
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 1,015 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, conducted from Jan. 2 to Jan. 9, 2007. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.
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