2016’s Nobel Peace Prize Nominations Hold A Few Surprises

This year’s list of Nobel Peace Prize nominees has been revealed — and you'll be stunned to see at least one name on the list.

When Henry Kissinger received the Peace Prize in 1973 under controversial circumstances, two members of the Nobel committee resigned in protest. So imagine the reaction of the world if Donald Trump wins the prestigious award this year.

Of course, he will never win, but even the idea of him being nominated is an outrage.

Despite the real estate tycoon’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, the director of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo and Nobel watcher, Kristian Berg Harpviken, says that Trump deserves the prize for “his vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China." (What is the world coming to?)

But Trump is not the only controversial candidate nominated for the prize.

Angela Merkel is in the running again this year, after being considered a favorite last year, although the prize eventually went to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet.

While the chancellor of Germany’s popularity seems to be diminishing in her own country, thanks to her opening doors to over 1 million migrants, across the world it is increasing. Merkel is not just being considered because of her stance on refugee crisis; she was also a key player in negotiation the Minsk Treaty that helped alleviate hostilities in Ukraine.

Almost as controversial would be awarding the prize to the pope. Although Pope Francis is in the running for addressing issues of climate change, migrants and unrestrained capitalism and for helping re-establish the strained ties between the U.S. and Cuba, the pontiff’s rejection of women priests and his being the chief representative of the Catholic Church might count against him in some parts of the world.

In an entirely different field, the Greek network of islands, comprising Lesbos, Kos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes and Leros, are also in a bid to win the prize. Despite rough times, the islanders not only gave up their jobs to help the refugees but also risked official penalties and criticism from the EU. However, since the prestigious award is only given to individuals or organizations, it is likely that either the group’s leader or the island’s solidarity network would be awarded the accolade.

Also nominated is the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, which was the site of the massacre of nine parishioners by white supremacists in June. After families of the victims decided to forgive the murderers, prompted the Chicago politicians that they decided to petition it for the nomination for the award. Although, the church made headlines last year, it is historically known as a pillar of freedom and survival for black South Carolinians.

The former spy agency contractor and whistle blower Edward Snowden is among the top candidates for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize as well. 

"2016 may finally be Edward Snowden's year ... His leaks are now having a positive effect," Harpviken told Reuters.

The winner of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in October, along with prize money of €1.1 million ($1.2 million).

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