Haniyeh: Best candidate for PM?
Majority: Abbas should meet Olmert
Poll: Palestinians support Haniyeh – but want new elections
Survey questioning over 1,000 Palestinian respondents finds some contradictory results: Most oppose stance of current government, but still think Haniyeh best-suited for role of prime minister. Also: Majority support meeting between Abbas, Olmert
Most Palestinians support early general elections, in hopes that a new government will rescue the Palestinian Authority from tits current political crisis, according to a survey held by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, led by Nabil Kukali.
The poll, which questioned 1,020 Palestinians, found that most were dissatisfied with the functioning of the current government and opposed its stances. However, a majority also supported Ismail Haniyeh’s continued service as prime minister.
Of those polled, 57.7 percent of respondents supported advancing elections, compared to 41 percent who opposed. This statistic may be encouraging to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – and to Israel as well, and likewise the finding that 52.7 percent of Palestinians oppose their government’s rejection of the international and Quartet conditions that Hamas disarm, recognize Israel and respect all previously signed agreements. In comparison, 42 percent of respondents expressed support for the government’s stances.
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Of the respondents, 61.4 percent said they supported a meeting between President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, compared to 38 percent who opposed.
What caused crisis?
Regarding United States influence, 33.5 testified that they believed American interference in Palestinian affairs was the cause of the current crisis. Twenty-seven percent believed the current crisis resulted from the positions of the Hamas government, while 14 percent believed Abbas’ weakness inspired the crisis.
Hamas will likely be displeased to discover that 65 percent of respondents support the dismantlement of the special Hamas security force established this year, compared to 32 percent who oppose its dismantlement. In addition, just 40 percent expressed satisfaction with PM Haniyeh’s performance, compared to 46 percent who were satisfied with Abbas’ performance.
However, one of the more interesting statistics revealed was the answer to the question: Who is most suitable for the position of prime minister? More than 30 percent voted for Haniyeh, leaving Fatah leaders far behind – Muhammad Dahlan received 10 percent support, Marwan Barghouti only seven percent, and Abbas a mere five percent support.
Like previous polls, the sometimes contradictory results of the current poll are evidence of the confused state of the Palestinian public in light of the current crisis. The Palestinians are not satisfied with the conduct of their government, however this disappointment does not mean they want Fatah to take up the leadership of the PA again.