Salam Fayyad - Reuters - 19.5.11
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad meets the press to discuss donations from abroad. Photo by Reuters
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A majority of Palestinians want current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to run the proposed Palestinian national unity government, according to a public opinion poll published Monday.

The survey, conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), said the public believes that if Fayyad remains as prime minister, the threat of international boycott and sanctions would diminish or disappear.

According to the poll, 45 percent of respondents want Fayyad to head the new government. Jamal Khoudari, the choice of the Islamist Hamas movement, received the backing of only 22 percent.

Fayyad, an internationally respected economist, was President Mahmoud Abbas' choice to lead the proposed unity government to be set up with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and strongly opposes the appointment.

As a result, the reconciliation process between Abbas' Fatah party and Hamas, which got underway in early May, is deadlocked.

The PSR poll also found that 61 percent of Palestinians want the unity government to follow Abbas' peace policies and program, compared to only 18 percent who said they want it to follow Hamas' course.

The poll, conducted between June 16 and 18, more than a month after the reconciliation agreement was signed, found that 59 percent of respondents believe the deal will work, despite the problems facing its implementation, particularly in forming the new government.

The survey interviewed 1,200 adults and had a margin of error of 3 percent.