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Is Trump among 2017 Nobel Peace Prize candidates?

A near-record 318 people and organisations are in the running for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Institute said on Thursday, a motley crew believed to include Syria's White Helmets, Donald Trump and Pope Francis.

Is Trump among 2017 Nobel Peace Prize candidates?
Photo: Scanpix file picture

The names of the nominees are kept secret for 50 years, but those entitled to nominate candidates — including lawmakers and government ministers, former laureates and some university professors — are free to reveal the name of the person or group they have nominated.

As a result, the list is believed to include the White Helmets, jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, and Edward Snowden, who revealed the scope of America's NSA electronic surveillance programme.

The same goes for US President Donald Trump, nominated by an unidentified American who wants the US leader recognised for “his peace through strength ideology”.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is highly critical of some of Trump's first acts as president, is also believed to have been nominated.

Yet others include Pope Francis, nominated by a Norwegian member of parliament because “he is one of the rare ones to stand up to Donald Trump”, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin and former French president Jacques Chirac.

The only tidbit the Nobel Institute would disclose was the breakdown of the nominations: 215 individuals and 103 organisations.

This year's number of candidates is the next-highest since the prize was first awarded in 1901, second only to 2016 when 376 names were in the running.

The Nobel committee, whose chairwoman Kaci Kullmann Five died of breastcancer on February 19, is expected to announce the 2017 laureate on October 6 though that date has yet to be confirmed.

Last year, the prize went to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to bring peace to his country ravaged by a half-century of conflict.

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‘No question’ of stripping Suu Kyi of Nobel Peace Prize: Norway committee

Norway's Nobel Institute said Wednesday it had no intention of withdrawing its Peace Prize from Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi after a damning UN report termed the treatment of the Rohingya people as "genocide."

'No question' of stripping Suu Kyi of Nobel Peace Prize:  Norway committee
Aung San Suu Kyi's husband Michael Aris and their sons Kim and Alexander Aris accept her Nobel Prize for her in 1991. Photo: Bjørn Sigurdsøn/NTB Scapix
“There is no question of the Nobel Committee withdrawing the peace prize,” director Olav Njolstad said. “The rules of the Nobel Peace Prize do not allow it,” he added.
   
A UN probe released Monday detailed evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity “perpetrated on a massive scale” against the Rohingya, including acts of rape, sexual violence and mass killings. 
   
At a UN Security Council session on Tuesday, a number of countries — including the United States, Britain, France and Sweden — called for Myanmar's military leaders to be held accountable. 
   
Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 when she was detained by the military for championing democracy and human rights.
   
She was only allowed to leave Myanmar to recieve the award 21 years later as the military apparently eased its iron grip on the country.
   
As the Rohingya crisis has deepened in the past year with the flight of hundreds of thousands to neighbouring Bangladesh, Suu Kyi has come under increasing international pressure to speak out about their plight.
   
So far however she has said very little and steadfastly avoided any critical comment of Myanmar's military.
   
The Nobel Peace Prize committee had warned last year about the worsening situation in Myanmar and had urged all parties to do “everything possible to end discrimination against and persecution of minorities.”
   
Njolstad repeated that statement, adding: “This call is not any less timely after the UN report.”
   
The Myanmar government on Wednesday bluntly rejected the UN's findings.
   
“We didn't allow the (UN Fact-Finding Mission) to enter into Myanmar, that's why we don't agree and accept any resolutions made by the Human Rights Council,” government spokesman Zaw Htay said, according to the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper. 
   
He pointed to the formation of Myanmar's own Independent Commission of Enquiry, which he said was set up to respond to “false allegations made by UN agencies and other international communities.”