Palestinians Favor 2009 Elections

By Prensa Latina,

Ramallah : Most of the Palestinians approve the end of the presidential mandate of Mahmoud Abbas on Jaunary 9, though they would be ready to re-elect Abbas if the parliamentary elections were made next year, said a poll here Friday.

Support TwoCircles

A poll by the Palestinian Center for Politics and Investigations showed that 64 percent of the interviewed people in the West Bank and the Strip of Gaza believe Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, should not extend his presidential mandate.

A high percentage of questioned people accepts making elections in 2009 and gives Abbas 10 percentual points over his rival, Ismail Haniyeh, former Palestinian Prime Minister and leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS). Hamas, which controls the Strip of Gaza, refuses to recognize the authority of Abbas after January 9 and rejected an Egyptian initiative to create a unity government and celebrate elections in Gaza and the West Bank before 2010.

Forty-two percent is ready to vote for the Al Fatah Party (led by Abbas) in the parliamentary elections, while 28 percent would vote for Hamas.

If the vote took place Friday, 48 percent would favour Abbas and 38 percent would vote for Haniyeh.

The poll said that 73 percent of Palestinians supports the decision of Abbas to call for anticipated elections if, just as it is thought, the dialogue between Palestinian fractions fails, and 40 percent supports the celebration of elections only in the occupied part of the West Bank.