OSLO: United States whistleblower Edward Snowden, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among the nominees for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, as the Nobel Institute announced on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) a record 278 candidates.
“The number of nominations increases almost every year, which shows a growing interest in the prize,” said Geir Lundestad, the head of the institute.
The Nobel committee convened on Tuesday for the first time this year to examine the candidate list and will announce the laureate in Oslo on October 10.
As usual, the committee refused to reveal the identity of any of the nominees, but Lundestad said that 47 of the 278 candidates were organizations.
Even though the list is kept secret for at least 50 years, the sponsors can choose to reveal the name of their nominee.
Putin is thought to be on the list, since Russian figures proposed his name in October, citing his role in the Syrian crisis.
Being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is relatively easy, since thousands of people can suggest candidates: lawmakers and ministers, university professors and former laureates.
At their first meeting, the five committee members themselves can add more names to the list. The committee insists that being nominated does not imply an endorsement on its part.
Last year saw 259 nominations, then also a record, and the prize was awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), involved to this day in the dismantling of the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal.