A member of parliament for the Norwegian populist right-wing, anti-immigration Progress Party, said on Wednesday he had nominated Donald Trump for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
The lawmaker, Christian Tybring-Gjedde, cited Trump’s role in brokering an agreement normalising relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
Together with another politician, Tybring-Gjedde has already nominated Trump for the Nobel in 2018 for his rapprochement with North Korea. That reconciliation is now in limbo.
Being nominated for a Nobel is no guarantee that someone will win the prestigious prize.
The Norwegian Nobel Institute welcomes all proposed names, as long as they are sent in by January 31st for the year in question and are submitted by those eligible to nominate. Tybring-Gjedde falls into that category as a member of parliament.
Each year, the Nobel Institute receives hundreds of nominations. The Institute keeps the names secret for 50 years, although those who nominate are allowed to publicly disclose their pick.
Asked whether he thought the US President had any real chance of being awarded the prize in Norway, Tybring-Gjedde claimed that the candidate's personality was “not important”.
“It's not personality that decides whether someone wins the prize, but what the person has really accomplished to make peace in the world,” he said.
Israel and the UAE announced the launch of political and commercial ties last month, with senior advisers to Trump including his son-in-law Jared Kushner close to the deal. The two countries are scheduled to sign a normalisation agreement at the White House next week.
That comes as the United States is in the midst of widespread social unrest, with nationwide protests against police brutality.
These have notably, but not solely been in response to the killing by a police officer of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, and later after police shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, in the back seven times, leaving him paralysed.
Trump has not acted as peace broker domestically, with Democrats accusing him of trying to inflame racial tensions and incite violence to benefit his campaign after he praised supporters who clashed with protesters in Portland, Oregon. He has denounced protesters as “thugs” while defending aggressive police actions.
Trump’s popularity in Norway is perhaps better gauged by other stories than his latest Nobel nomination.
In 2018, Trump's invitation to Norwegians to immigrate to the United States, while railing against entrants from “shithole” countries, received a glacial reception in the Nordic nation.
Prior to that, a Norwegian publisher released a tongue-in-cheek collection of Trump's speeches repurposed as poetry.
A 2017 publicity shot of the prime ministers of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland had an uncanny resemblance to a shot of Trump posing with the Saudi and Egyptian leaders, in what could be perceived as a veiled dig at the president for cosying up to autocratic leaders.
The Nobel Institute, which usually refuses to comment on nominations, was not available for comment when approached by AFP.
In the past, several of the five members of the Nobel committee that selects the laureate have made negative remarks about Trump.