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Arabs want Syria's President Assad to go - opinion poll

Monday, January 02 2012

Arabs want Syria's President Assad to go - opinion poll

Although the majority of Arabs believe Syria’s President Basher al-Assad should resign in the wake of the regime’s brutal treatment of protesters, fewer Syrians are supportive of an immediate leadership change.

According to the latest opinion poll commissioned by The Doha Debates, Syrians are more supportive of their president with 55% not wanting him to resign.  One of the main reasons given by those wanting the president to stay in power was fear for the future of the country.

That level of support is not mirrored elsewhere in the region, with 81 percent of Arabs wanting President Assad to step down. They believe Syria would be better off if free democratic elections were held under the supervision of a transitional government.

The poll’s finding support the result of November’s Doha Debate in which 91 percent of the audience called for President Assad to resign.

If President Assad resigns, Syria’s relations with Turkey, Lebanon and the United States are expected to improve while relations with Iran and Israel will worsen, according to the opinion poll findings.

The poll conducted by YouGov Siraj questioned more than 1,000 people in the Arab world between December 14 and 19.