OSLO: The pope, the German chancellor and a Congolese doctor were all tipped as top contenders for Friday’s Nobel Peace Prize, but speculation was mounting that the honour could go to two octogenarian survivors of the atomic bombings of Japan 70 years ago.
But having a line up of last year’s record of 273 candidates, only shy 278, calling the winner is mostly a game of chance.
This season, pundits mostly agree the prize is not unlikely to be given for attempts to solve the international refugee crisis, which is especially acute following the very first- atomic bombings in Europe, or in acknowledgement of nuclear disarmament attempts seven decades.
“Once again the world should be reminded of the critical effects of nuclear weapons,” said the site naming 83-year old Setsuko Thurlow and 86-year old Sumiteru Taniguchi as the frontrunners.
If it were to make this kind of selection, the Nobel committee would continue its recent tradition of honouring anti-atomic attempts in years marking the 1945 bombings’ decade anniversaries.
In a number of instances, she was touted as combined victor alongside the UN refugee agency, UNHCR which has won in 1981 and 1954.
But (0900 GMT) the delay will not be under the recently appointed chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, discloses the laureate’s name in Oslo.
“Angela Merkel is the one that actually took a moral direction,” he said.
Asked about Merkel’s odds of winning, European Commission leader Jean-Claude Juncker was candid.
“In any case, she’s deserved it more than Barack Obama,” he explained, referring to the controversy within the US president’s 2009 Nobel peace triumph in his first year in office before he’d even reached anything.
Another notable name linked to the migrant disaster is Eritrean Catholic priest Mussie Zerai, who as a hotline has efficiently functioned by means of his cell phone in trouble, to the Mediterranean from the Sinai desert.
While the previous year was marked by violence and disaster across Africa and in Syria, Iraq, there also have been momentous measures towards peace.
In July, Iran achieved a historical deal to suppress its atomic drive in exchange for a slow lifting of the crippling sanctions imposed since 2006 on its market.
The milestone treaty could find the peace prize going to the architects of US Secretary of State John Kerry, the offer Javad Zarif and his Iranian counterpart.
Another recent breakthrough potentially worthy was in Colombia, where a deal was achieved by the government and FARC guerrillas together with the goal of signing a final peace agreement on justice.
And with competitors like Novaya Gazeta paper, which will be critical of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, jailed US whistleblower Edward Snowden and Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, the fight for liberty of expression may be exploited in a year that’s found the Charlie Hebdo strikes in Paris.