Most Palestinians oppose Abbas' decision to quit: poll

09:04, November 09, 2009      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) receives grapes from supporters during a Fatah gathering in the West Bank village of Halhul near Hebron November 8, 2009. Thousands of Palestinians turned out in the West Bank on Sunday to urge Abbas to run again for the presidency following his announcement that he did not want a second term in the job. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

A majority of Palestinians oppose their president Mahmoud Abbas' decision not to run in upcoming presidential elections, a poll revealed on Sunday.

According to the poll, conducted by the Ramallah-based Near East consulting firm, 62 percent of the Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank said they are against the decision that Abbas made on Thursday.

Only 38 percent supported Abbas' intention not to be a candidate in any more elections, and most of them were members or supporters of Islamic Hamas movement, the bitter rival of Abbas' Fatah movement.

Despite the gloomy situation, 76 percent of the 780 people surveyed in the poll still believe that Abbas may retreat his decision and 24 percent said his decision was unchangeable.

Abbas made his decision due to the failure of the U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Hamas' rejection to an Egyptian offer to restore Palestinian unity.

Earlier, Abbas decreed presidential and parliamentary elections to take place in January 2010 in a bid to end Hamas' forceful seizure of Gaza and the ensuing split with the Fatah-ruled West Bank.  

Source: Xinhua
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