Corruption, Broadcasting PLC Sessions, Performance of PLC and Other Branches of Government, the Peace Process and Local Elections

05-07 June 1997


These are the results of opinion poll #28, conducted by the Center for Palestine Research & Studies, between 05-07 June 1997. The poll deals with corruption, broadcasting PLC sessions, performance of the PLC and other branches of government, the peace process, and local elections. The total sample size of this poll is 1317 from Palestinians 18 years and older, of which 810 in the West Bank and 507 in the Gaza Strip. The margin of error is + 3%, and the non-response rate is 3%.

(1) More People see More Corruption in PNA and Majority Supports a Vote of no-Confidence

For the fourth consecutive time the percentage of those who believe that corruption exists in the institutions and agencies of the PA has increased. In June 1997, majority of 63%, compared to 57% last April (see CPRS Poll 27) and 49% in September 1996 (CPRS Poll 24), believes that corruption exists, and 57% in this poll, believe that corruption will increase or stay as it is in the future.

Belief in the existence of corruption is high in Gaza City (74%), Bethlehem (71%), and Nablus (69%). Corruption is also seen more by males (72%) than females (54%); by the young (69%) than the old (53%); by refugees (67%) than non-refugees (61%); by BA holders (78%) than illiterates (46%); and by students and professionals (over 82%) than housewives (52%).

In the aftermath of the release of the comptroller's report revealing the extent of mismanagement and financial irregularities, a majority of 52% supports a move by the Palestinian Legislative Council to bring down the government by a vote of no-confidence. Bringing the government down is supported more in Gaza City (70%) than in any other Palestinian city; by more males (62%) than females (42%); by more refugees (55%) than non-refugees (50%); by more college degree holders (65%) than illiterates (41%); by more professionals (68%) than housewives (43%) and by people working in the private sector (63%) than the public sector (56%).


(2) People Demand Resumption of TV Broadcasts of PLC Sessions

A majority of 75% believe that TV broadcasts of the PLC sessions, which have recently been suspended, should be resumed. The suspension has taken place in the aftermath of the arrest of the Palestinian journalist Dawood Kuttab by the Palestinian police. Kuttab was in charge of the broadcasts under a contract with the PLC. One third of the Palestinians in the West Bank has watched these broadcasts on local television stations. Gazans do not have access to local TV stations. Of those who watched the broadcasts, 43% became more appreciative of the Council's work while 18% became less appreciative, and 40% did not change their views after watching them.


(3) Low Positive Evaluation of PLC Performance Despite TV Broadcasts

Only 10% have had any contact with their representatives in the PLC since its formation. Despite the TV broadcasting of PLC sessions on local TV stations in the West Bank, no change has yet been noticed in people's evaluation of the PLC. Only 46%, a drop of two percentage points from last April, evaluate the performance of the PLC as good or very good. Similarly, an average of 46% evaluate as good or very good the performance of their district representatives in the PLC.

Respondents were asked to select from among their district representatives the one with the best performance. Because of the small sample in each of the 16 districts it was not statistically possible for us to find reliable results for all the districts. However, in some districts we were able to identify the representative seen as the one with the best performance. Salah al-Tamari came first in Bethlehem followed by "no one" and Haidar Abdul Shafi came first in Gaza followed by "no one". In Nablus, Ghassan al-Shak'a and "no one" shared the first spot; in Ramallah, Abdul Jawad Salih and "no one" came first; in Khanyounis, Nabil Sha'ath, Ra'fat al-Najjar and "no one" came first; and in Rafah, Abed Rabbo Abu Aoun and "no one" came first. In Tulkarm, Hasan Khraisha came second after "no one" ; in Jerusalem, Hanan Ashrawi and Ahmad Qurai (Abu al-Ala') came second after "no one"; in Jenin, Jamal Shati came second after "no one"; in Hebron, Abbas Zaki came second after "no one" and in Jabalya, Abdul Rahman Hamad came second after "no one".


(4) Drop in the Evaluation of the Presidency, Police and Security Services, Cabinet, and Judiciary

The Presidency and security services received the largest decrease in people's positive evaluation: 68%, compared to 79% last April, see the performance of the institution of the presidency as good or very good; and 69%, compared to 77% last April, see the performance of the police and security services as good or very good. Despite the rise in the percentage of those who believe that there is corruption in the PNA institutions and despite the support for a vote of no-confidence in the Cabinet, the poll does not show significant drop in people's positive evaluation of the performance of the Cabinet.. A majority of 53%, compared to 59% last April, sees the performance of the Cabinet as good or very good. A majority of 51%, compared to 55% last April, sees the performance of the judiciary as good or very good. Overall, the presidency lost the most in people's positive evaluation followed by the cabinet, the security services, and the PLC.

The opposition received a low positive evaluation for its performance with only 36% evaluating it as good or very good.


(5) Very Low Grades for the PNA Performance Over Teachers' Strike

The lowest positive evaluation however, went to the PNA performance in managing the teachers' strike. Only 27% evaluated that performance as good or very good, with 41% evaluating it as bad or very bad. Positive evaluation is higher among females (31%) than males (23%), among illiterates (31%) than BA holders (13%) among housewives (34%) than professionals (7%), and among those working in the public sector (24%) than the private sector (19%).


(6) An Even Split Over the Holding of Local Elections

Poll results show an even split among Palestinians regarding the holding of local elections as 44% support holding them immediately while another 44% support postponing them until after the Israelis carry out a further redeployment from new areas in the West Bank.


(7) Increase in the Support for the Peace Process and a Majority Supports Return to Negotiations

A majority of 68%, compared to 60% last April, supports the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis. Furthermore, a surprising majority of 56% supports a Palestinian-Israeli return to the negotiating table despite the current crises over Israeli settlement activities in Abu Ghnaim mountain, Israeli confiscation of ID cards from Palestinians living in Jerusalem, and the Israeli refusal to carry our further redeployment in the rest of the West Bank.


(8) Political Affiliation: Continued Rise in the Percentage of the Nonaffiliated

Support for Fateh remained stable at 41% in this poll. Support for Hamas dropped from 10% to 8% with the largest drop taking place in Gaza. The percentage of nonaffiliated increased from 29% to 36% reaching the highest level in almost four years.....More