Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar said Sunday that his movement would win a sweeping victory in upcoming legislative elections due in May.In the Arabic interview, Zahar said that Hamas is "delighted" by polls showing Fatah leading them, because he said the polls said the same in 2006, when Hamas rolled to a large victory over Fatah.
The Hamas leader said that Hamas would gain a better percentage than their 2006 election victory, where they won 74 of an available 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Hamas has not yet made a decision about a presidential candidate, he added.
Zahhar made the remarks during an interview with London based pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
One fact about the 2005 local elections and the 2006 legislative elections that most people don't realize: Hamas won in the West Bank as well, not just in Gaza.
In the December 2005 local elections, Hamas won 73% of the vote in Nablus, 72% in Al Birah (Abbas' hometown), and a majority in Jenin. Only in Ramallah itself (where there are a significant number of people working, directly or indirectly, for Fatah) did Fatah manage to eke out a tie.
I don't know if that would happen today, but Hamas is much stronger in supposedly Fatah strongholds than most people know.