Former Progress leader Hagen could be nominated to Nobel Committee

Norwegian populist party the Progress Party has proposed that influential former leader Carl I. Hagen replace Inger-Marie Ytterhorn as its representative on the Nobel Committee.

Former Progress leader Hagen could be nominated to Nobel Committee
Carl I. Hagen. Photo: Audun Braastad / NTB scanpix

Hagen, who led the Progress Party from 1978 to 2006, has confirmed internally to the party that he would be keen to take a place on the committee, according to newspaper VG.

The former leader, who often expresses his strong anti-Islam views, confirmed to news bureau NTB last month that he would be interested in the role on the committee, which selects the annual winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Former Nobel Committee secretary Geir Lundestad told broadcaster NRK that Hagen “would not be a good candidate”.

“Hagen is a well-discussed person and likes speaking to the media. That does not make him well-suited to the committee,” Lundestad said.

Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre said that it would be problematic for Hagen to sit on the committee while a deputy representative in parliament, meaning the former leader can stand in in the absence of regular MPs.

The Committee’s five members are appointed by the Norwegian Parliament, as stipulated by Alfred Nobel in his will.

Although rules prevent currently-serving MPs from sitting on the Nobel Committee, it is unclear whether these also apply to deputy members, writes VG.

“I will today contact the [Nobel Committee] presidency and other parliamentary leaders to hear their views. I am critical of it,” Støre told NTB.

Although the Progress Party’s own committee has selected Hagen, it is not certain he will be the final candidate from the party. A final vote, in which the entire parliamentary group from the party will choose its candidate, is scheduled for Wednesday.

“I appreciate tge nomination by the committee and await the next stage of the process. I have no further comment,” Hagen told VG.

Hagen lost out to Ytterhorn in a similar bid to join the committee six tears ago.

Norway’s political parties usually nominate their representatives to the Committee based on their individual areas of expertise.

READ ALSO: Anti-nuclear campaign ICAN wins Nobel Peace Prize


Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize as Sweden’s Greta Thunberg misses out

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was on Friday awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to resolve his country's conflict with bitter foe Eritrea, the Nobel Committee said.

Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize as Sweden's Greta Thunberg misses out
Chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen announces the 2019 laureate. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / TT

Abiy was honoured “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea,” the jury said.

The announcement of Abiy as this year’s Peace laureate was made in Oslo on Friday morning.

The award of the honour to Abiy means that Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who had been the bookmaker’s favourite to receive the honour, misses out.

In a little more than a year, the young climate activist has galvanised millions of young people around the world to take part in demonstrations to raise awareness for action on climate change.

But the Nobel Committee opted to give the peace honour to Abiy, who has had a major impact on resolving regional conflict.

In an interview with Swiss broadcaster RTS in August, Thunberg stressed that while the award would be “a recognition for this movement,” she and her supporters weren't “doing this to get awards and prizes.”

READ ALSO: Greta Thunberg unlikely to win Nobel Peace Prize despite good odds, experts say