Hamas tops latest Palestinian opinion poll

One month before Palestinians head to the polls to choose a new parliament, a poll released today indicated the militant group Hamas would earn the greatest number of seats.

The poll, conducted by An-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus, showed that if elections were held today 31% of Palestinians would choose Hamas, 27% would choose the future bloc headed by jailed uprising leader Marwan Barghouti, and only 18% would choose Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah.

The Palestinian parliamentary election are set for January 25.

Earlier this month, Fatah’s disgruntled young guard broke away and presented its own list of candidates under the name Future.

Eager to bring the young guard back into the fold, Abbas agreed to award top slots to many of the younger activists who had done well in Fatah primaries.

Initially, Abbas had given many of these spots to old-timers, who will now have to compete in districts, where their re-election is not assured.

This evening, a Palestinian court approved an extension to the deadline for the registration of parties, a move designed to allow the reunification of Fatah and its young guard. Such a united party would have a better chance against Hamas.

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