Wednesday, July 08
Latest News
  1. Saudi-led warplanes in new Yemen raids after bloody day
  2. Syrian Kurds battle IS as US steps up air war
  3. Western diplomat: Iran talks have to conclude within 48 hours
  4. Iran calls on global powers to drop UN arms ban
  5. Deadly car bomb explodes outside Shiite mosque in Sanaa
  6. Female suicide bomber kills 4 near military checkpoint in NE Nigeria
  7. Libya's unrecognized govt announces army restructuring
  8. UN watchdog in Iran for 'intense' nuclear talks
  9. Warplanes bomb Saleh party HQ in Yemen capital
  10. Iraq jet accidentally bombs Baghdad, killing 8
  11. Obama says US 'intensifying' anti-IS efforts in Syria
  12. EU: Eurozone stability 'not in question' after Greek vote
  13. Turkey summons commanders to discuss Syria intervention
  14. World powers begin talks to seal Iran nuclear deal
  15. Syria army enters last rebel bastion by Lebanon border
  16. Egypt looks set to approve disputed anti-terror law
  17. Fighting grips Yemen's Aden as UN envoy presses truce bid
  18. Kuwait mulls charging more than 40 over mosque bomb
  19. Sousse governor among officials fired over Tunisia attack
  20. Polling opens in crucial Greece bailout referendum

Majority of Palestinians support Marwan Barghouthi for president

May 22, 2014 6:36 P.M. (Updated: May 24, 2014 6:07 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A majority of Palestinians in the occupied territories favor jailed activist Marwan Barghouthi as a candidate in upcoming presidential elections, a public opinion survey released on Thursday said.

The poll also revealed that 80 percent of Palestinians thought elections would "certainly" or "likely" be held within six months of the expected formation of the unity government next week, and almost 40 percent of respondents said they planned to vote for Fatah.

The results come after a 10-day survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion polled just over 1,000 Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

The survey, which is one of the first to be conducted in the occupied Palestinian territories since the signing of a national reconciliation agreement between the two main Palestinian political parties, Fatah and Hamas, at the end of April, highlights a growing sense of optimism that the deal will hold.

It also reveals growing dissatisfaction with political leaders who have been charge since the last round of elections in 2006, and an interest in giving one of the most prominent Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails a chance at ruling.

President of the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion Nabil Kukail stressed that the survey showed that the "overwhelming majority of the Palestinian public" believes Marwan Barghouthi to be a favorite in upcoming elections.

"It is time that Mr. Barghouthi be released from prison to give him the opportunity to (run as a) candidate for the next presidential elections," Kukail said in a statement.

Barghouthi was a leader in the First and Second Intifadas and has become a symbol of the Palestinian national cause. He is sometimes referred to as the "Palestinian Mandela" for his role as a uniting figure in the movement.

The survey polled respondents on a number of potential pair-ups for the presidential elections, including between current president Mahmoud Abbas and Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, Marwan Barghouthi and Ismail Haniyeh, Abbas and Barghouthi, as well as Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Barghouthi.

In all of the pair-ups where Barghouthi was present, respondents favored him to other candidates.

The survey also revealed a dramatic fall in popularity for the Islamist party Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since it kicked Fatah out after it accused the group of a US-supported coup attempt in 2006.

When respondents were polled on who they expected to win if elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council were held now, 39 percent said Fatah, 16 percent said Hamas, 12 percent said other parties, 11 percent said independents, and the rest said that they would either not participate or had not yet decided.

Survey respondents were from across the occupied Palestinian territories, including around two-thirds in the West Bank and one-third in the Gaza Strip, and participation was split almost evenly between female and male respondents.

The survey did not, however, take into account the more than nine million Palestinians living as refugees, in the diaspora, or inside Israel, who could potentially be included as part of Palestinian elections in the future.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015