Large majority of Palestinians favor elections

Seventy-five percent of Palestinians support holding early elections, according to a new poll published Thursday. The poll by the independent Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research was conducted during and after the Hamas military takeover of Gaza last week. It was conducted among 1,270 respondents in the West Bank and Gaza and had an error margin of 3 percent. If new presidential elections were to be held, 49 percent would vote for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah movement, and 42 percent would vote for his political rival, deposed PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, the survey said. If jailed Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouti of Fatah were to run against Haniyeh, he would win 59 percent to Haniyeh's 35 percent, the poll said.