The Nobel Peace Prize has garnered 231 nominations, from former President Bill Clinton to the WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning, said the Nobel Institute on Monday.
The Nobel Institute head, Geir Lundestad, told AFP, “As always, there are the usual 'nominees' and some newcomers, some famous and some unknowns, hailing from the four corners of the world.”
A total of 188 individuals and 43 organizations, including the European Union, were nominated this year, coming close to beating last year’s record number of 241 nominations.
The Nobel committee does not release the names of the nominees, but some of the names put forward this year including Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina and the former Ukranian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, were revealed by the nominators, reported the Associated Press.
According to Bloomberg, those eligible to nominate include members of “national assemblies and governments, international courts, university rectors, as well as active and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.”
The European director of Human Rights Watch, Jan Egeland, predicted that Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki, who is rumored to be one of the nominees, could win, as “It's the only shining success story of the Arab Spring so far,” according to Reuters.
Some of the other candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize who have been mentioned by reliable sources include former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Nigerian religious leaders John Onaiyekan and Mohamed Sa'ad Abubakar, Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Paya and Yoani Sanchez, Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and American political scientist Gene Sharp.
Last year’s joint winners were Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, and Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
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