|last updated June 1, 2012 4:42 PM (EST+7)
published June 1, 2012 9:44 AM (EST+7)
Poll No. 76. May 2012 - Political Leadership, Corruption and Freedom of Speech
||poll, public opinion, governance, leadership, Fateh, Hamas, Islamil Haniyeh, Khaled Meshaal, corruption, freedom of speech, freedom of expression
Over half of respondents support general elections in light of reconciliation
Setback in performance of the PA; majority support its perpetuation
Haniyeh surpasses Meshaal in Hamas
Negativity towards freedom of speech and expression
Large percentage: Fatah failed in internal reforms and combating corruption after its 2009 conference
A public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) showed that around half of Palestinian society (51.3%) support holding parliamentary and presidential elections but only if reconciliation is reached, as opposed to 42.7% who said they supported elections being held under any circumstances.
If elections are held, 42% or respondents said they would vote for Fatah while 19.5% said they would vote for Hamas; 2.2% would vote for the PFLP, 3.5% for other parties and 2.9% for independent figures. The poll also showed that if elections were held and the race was between Marwan Barghouthi and Khaled Meshaal only, 50.2% said they would vote for Marwan Barghouthi, 20.5% would vote for Khaled Meshaal and 25.1% would not vote at all.
Pessimism regarding the reconciliation
Regarding the chances for the reconciliation to succeed, the poll showed that Palestinian society is more pessimistic towards this possibility. The majority of those polled (48.7%) said they did not expect reconciliation to be reached between Fatah and Hamas this year as opposed to 40.2% who said they did. In the same context, 37.2% of respondents said Hamas was more responsible for the continued Palestinian split and the failure of the reconciliation compared to 19.1% who held Fatah responsible; 18.9% said both parties were responsible while 7.1% held Israel responsible.
Setback in PA performance
Regarding the performance of the Palestinian National Authority, 60.2% said its performance was either good or very good in this poll compared to 67.6% who said the same thing in the poll conducted last November. While 37.9% said in this poll that its performance was either poor or very poor as opposed to 30.5% who said the same thing in the November poll.
On the debate over the future of the PA, the poll shows that the majority of those polled, 66.6% believed there was a need to perpetuate and maintain the PA as opposed to 26.9% of those who think it is should be dissolved.
Regarding the new Palestinian government under Dr. Salam Fayyad, 31.6% considered this a positive step in improving government performance in comparison to 14.4% who said it was a negative step. The majority of respondents (49%) said the formation of this government would not make any difference in the government’s performance.
As for the performance of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, 56.9% of those polled said they were somewhat satisfied or very satisfied with his performance while 40.7% said they were somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with his performance.
Haniyeh and Meshaal
The poll addressed the question of whom respondents would prefer to lead Hamas and set its strategies, Khaled Meshaal or Ismail Haniyeh. 40.1% they would prefer Haniyeh while 25.8% said they preferred Meshaal. The poll also showed Haniyeh (46.5%) clearly surpassing Meshaal (18.7%) in Gaza.
The poll showed that a large percentage of respondents believe Fatah somewhat failed or totally failed in reforming the movement’s structure (49.1%) while the same percentage said the movement somewhat failed or totally failed in combating corruption.
Spread of Corruption
On the issue of corruption in the Palestinian Authority, the majority 82.3% of those polled said there was corruption in the PA compared to 12.1% who said there was not. Regarding the anti-corruption commission recently set up by the PA, the majority (50.9%) said its presence contributed to fighting corruption as opposed to 36.4% who said it did not contribute at all.
Freedom of Expression
Regarding the ongoing debate over freedom of opinion and expression in Palestinian society, the poll showed that the people’s perception was negative towards this issue. The majority of respondents, 55.2% said freedom of opinion in Palestinian society was permissible to little or very little extent while 29.7% said it was permissible to a large or very large extent.
Politically, the majority (68.1%) of those polled said the Palestinian leadership should resume its efforts at the United Nations in pursuit of recognition of an independent Palestinian state. As for the ideal solution to the Palestinian question, the majority (49.5%) still believe the two-state solution is the most preferable as opposed to 25.9% who believe the best solution would be a bi-national one state solution. Furthermore, the majority of respondents (79.9%) said they preferred peaceful resistance to regain Palestinian rights compared to 55.5% who supported armed resistance. The majority (42.8%) said the PA supports peaceful resistance to a moderate extent while 26.9% said it does not support it at all.
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