Angus Reid Global Monitor
October 19, 2008 - 8:00pm

Many adults in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank would like to hold the presidential and legislative ballots at the same time, according to a poll by the Jerusalem Media & Communication Center. 51.4 per cent of respondents support having simultaneous elections.

Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas won the January 2005 presidential ballot in the Palestinian Territories 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 February 2007, Hamas and Fatah leaders reached an accord which set the guidelines for a power-sharing Palestinian administration, headed by Hamas. In June, amid a wave of violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah factions, Hamas militants seized control of Gaza. Abbas issued a decree to form a 12-member emergency government based in the West Bank and expelled Hamas from the administration. Fatah member Salam Fayyad was appointed as prime minister by Abbas.

Abbas recently said he plans to extend his tenure until 2010. The extension is part of an Egypt-sponsored plan to foster reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. The current presidential term is due to end in January 2009.

On Oct. 6, Hamas lawmaker Faraj al-Ghoul rejected the president’s plan, saying, "If the president of the Elections Committee doesn’t call for elections three months before the end of Abbas’ term in office, the Central Elections Committee shall take the lead and prepare for elections."

Polling Data

Do you think the presidential and parliamentary elections should be held separately, or simultaneously?





Not sure


Source: Jerusalem Media & Communication Center
Methodology: Interviews with 1,194 adults in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, conducted from Oct. 2 to Oct. 6, 2008. Margin of error is 3 per cent.


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