Friday, November 25, 2005

HAMAS and the Elections. Islamic Block Poll.



This poll was published (and obviously conducted) by the Islamic Block website. Islamic Block is a kind of student union representing HAMAS in Palestinian universities. The questions concern the upcoming January legislative elections in the PA. As you all probably know, there has been a heated discussion between the PA authorities, Israel and the peace process sponsors concerning the participation of HAMAS in the elections. In the past, the Palestinian authorities promised many times to bar candidates advocating violence from running in the elections but no effective legislation addressing this issue has been adopted. You can read more about it in this article:

Political Participation and Palestinian Legislative Elections by Mohammad Yaghi and Ben Fishman (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy) 31 October, 2005

Here comes the poll itself:

Question 1:
Do you support the participation of HAMAS in the legislative elections?


1. No
15 votes - 13%

2. Yes
99 votes - 86.1%

3. Don't know
1 vote - 0.9%

Total votes - 115

Question 2:
Who is going to win the elections - HAMAS or FATEH?
1. FATEH

20 votes - 17.4 %

2. HAMAS
81 votes - 70.4%

3. Don't know
14 votes - 12.2%

Total votes - 115

It is curious that 13% of the Islamic Block website's visitors don't want to see HAMAS even participating in the elections. Even more people believe HAMAS isn't going to win. While this kind of polls certainly can't be considered truly representative of the Palestinian society, it's always interesting to have a look at them as people voting on an Arabic-language HAMAS website are more likely to be expressing their real views and not trying to impress any foreign researchers with slogans like "We are all HAMAS here".

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