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Nobel Peace Prize Nominations Reach Record High

March 7, 2013 by  


Oslo-based committee does not reveal identities of nominees, 209 of whom this year are individuals and 50 organisations

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Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old education activist shot by Taliban gunmen, is among the favourites to win the 2013 Nobel peace prize. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

A record 259 nominations have been received for this year’s Nobel peace prize, including Bradley Manning, the US soldier court-martialled for passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, and Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old schoolgirl who was shot in the head by Taliban militants in Pakistan. 50 of the nominations were for organisations.

The Oslo-based committee that awards the prize does not identify the nominees, but those with nomination rights sometimes announce their picks.

“This year’s nominations come from all over the world … well-known names, well-known presidents and prime ministers and also lesser well-known names working in humanitarian projects, human rights activists,” said committee’s non-voting secretary, Geir Lundestad, announcing the number of nominations on Monday. “In recent years, some of the Nobel peace prizes may have been controversial but they have added to the interest of the prize.”

Last year, the prize went to the EU for promoting peace and human rights in Europe following the second world war. But not everyone approved the decision given the current financial crisis that has led to hardship and suffering for many on the continent.

Three peace prize laureates – the South African archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Northern Irish and Argentinian activists Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Pérez Esquive–said the $1.2m award money should not have been paid out because the EU contradicts the prize’s values because it relies on military force to ensure security.

The nomination period for 2013 ended on 1 February. The previous record of 241 nominations was in 2011.

Kristian Berg Harpviken, the director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, and a prominent voice in the Nobel guessing game, listed Yousafzai as his favourite for this year’s award.
None of Harpviken’s favourites have won the prize since he started guessing in 2009.

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