Young Palestinians losing interest in politics, poll shows

Study by Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre finds young people are reluctant to join political parties

RAMALLAH

Young Palestinians have the potential to play a vital role in politics but lack the opportunity to do so, according to the results of a recent poll.

The study, by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre, found that young people were reluctant to join political parties, despite more than 82 per cent of respondents believing they had an important role to play.

More than 88 per cent of people thought it was important for young people to become members of the central committees and politburos of political parties and factions, but almost 69 per cent said there had been a significant decline in them doing so.

Almost 75 per cent of respondents said they believed in the importance of holding legislative elections, while 79 per cent said it was essential to hold presidential elections. Just over 70 per cent of people said they would vote in such elections.

More than 34 per cent of people said economic issues were their primary concern when evaluating the platforms of electoral lists or parties, followed by safety and security at 29 per cent and fighting corruption at 14 per cent.

The poll showed that 51 per cent of respondents would support the PLO’s platform, 22 per cent would support Hamas and 27 per cent did not respond.

Almost 76 per cent of people said it was essential to hold leadership elections for Palestinian political parties and factions.

Just over 32 per cent of respondents said they would vote for the PLC elections candidate representing Fatah, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, while 13.5 per cent would opt for Hamas, led by Ismail Haniyeh. More than 33 per cent said they would not vote or were unsure whom to vote for.

In the study, 19 per cent said they wanted Marwan Barghouthi to be the future president of the PLO, while the same percentage said they wanted him to be president of the PA, followed by Mohammed Dahlan with 4.3 per cent, Hussein Al-Sheikh with 3.6 per cent, Mohammed Shtayieh with 3.3 per cent and Mohammed Aloul with 2.9 per cent.

Just over 44 per cent said that Abbas’ decision to appoint Hussein Al-Sheikh as PLO executive committee secretary was not good and 33 per cent said they expected him to do a bad job.

A shade over 50 per cent of the participants said the PA’s performance was good — down from over 68 per cent who thought so in June 2020 — while 45 per cent said it was terrible. A total of 58.5 per cent said they believed the PA should be maintained, while 33 per cent said it should be dissolved.

On the issue of the war in Ukraine, 65 per cent of respondents said they were neutral, while 17 per cent said they sympathized with Russia and 8 per cent said they sympathized with Ukraine. Almost 65 per cent of people said the Palestinian leadership should take a neutral stance on the conflict.

Just over 42 per cent of respondents said they thought that US President Joe Biden’s visit to the region would not affect the interests of the Palestinian people, while 38 per cent said it would be harmful and 13 per cent thought it could be beneficial.

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