Record Peace Prize contenders this year

28th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

Barack Obama and Nicholas Sarkozy are among the 205 candidates up for the prize this year.

Oslo -- A record 205 candidates are in the running for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Institute said on Friday, with American President Barack Obama and France's Nicolas Sarkozy known to be on the list.

"We have received the names of 205 candidates, including 33 organisations," said Geir Lundestad, the head of the Nobel Institute.

Lundestad said this was a new record, exceeding the 199 candidates competing for the prestigious prize in 2005.

The names of the nominees are kept secret by the institute for 50 years. But those who are entitled to nominate are allowed to reveal the name of the person or organisation they have proposed if they wish.

Both Obama and Sarkozy are already known to be on the list.

Being nominated says little about whether a person or organisation is actually likely to win the award, however, since nominations reflect only the views of those who propose the candidates and not those of the institute, according to Lundestad.

Thousands of people are eligible to submit nominations, including members of parliament and government worldwide, university professors, previous laureates and members of several international institutes.

The Nobel Committee that awards the prize is also eligible to nominate candidates.

The name of the winner will be announced in early October and the award will be presented at a formal ceremony held, as tradition dictates, on December 10.

Last year, former Finnish president and career diplomat Martti Ahtisaari won the prize.


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