German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the favourite for the Nobel Peace Prize, according to the director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Kristian Berg Harpviken.
Mrs Merkel, whose pro-migration policies have already seen the outbreak of violence, indigenous population evictions, and a mammoth budgetary commitment in Germany, was nominated earlier this year for her work on the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Many argued that German interventions, including the attempted EU expansion that it pioneered, created the incident in the first place.
But Haprviken reckons she’s odds on, despite his patchy record of success in predicting previous winners. PRIO wrote today:
German Chancellor Merkel is placed on top of Harpviken’s list this year for her remarkable response to this year’s refugee crisis. In a time when many have dodged responsibility, Merkel has shown true leadership and risen above politics, taking a humane approach in a difficult situation. Merkel may perhaps not qualify as an altruistic Mother Theresa, and her stance has toughened in recent weeks, but a collective European response to the current situation and handling of migrants and refugees in the future, is unthinkable without Merkel at the helm. Jochen Bittner, political editor at Die Zeit, placed Merkel’s initiative in historical context whenwriting “In the past few weeks, I have been tempted to say something once unthinkable for my generation: I’m proud to be German”. (A group of German Members of Parliamant has indeed nominated Merkel this year, not for her refugee response, but for her role in brokering a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine.)
Seeing as the refugee crisis has been one of the major situations in international politics this year, there are also others staking a claim. Harpviken listed the Italy-based Erithrean priest Mussie Zerai in his speculations of late January this year, and another candidate could be the UNHCR, which also won in 1954 and 1981.
Other nominees include Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Timoleón Jiménez “for their commitment to a peace process that carries strong promise of bringing the Colombian conflict to an end”.
Third on the list is Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and its Editor Dmitry Muratov, and fourth is the Article 9 Association, which works to “preserve Article 9 in the Japanese constitution, which renounces Japan’s right to engage in war or to maintain military forces capable of engaging in war.”
Bookmakers appear to have Pope Francis as the leading candidate still, and nominees also include Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, Raif Badawi, UNESCO, Edward Snowden, and the International Campaign for the Abandonment of Nuclear Arms.