A total of 197 candidates are in the running for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Institute said on Wednesday, with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, ex-German chancellor Helmut Kohl and Esperanto known to be on the list.
“This is the second-highest number in the history of the Nobel” Peace Prize, Geir Lundestad, the head of the Nobel Institute, said, recalling there were 199 nominees in 2005.
The list of candidates for 2008 comprises 33 organisations and 164 individuals, Lundestad said.
The names of the nominees are kept secret by the institute for 50 years. But those who are entitled to nominate are allowed to reveal the name of the person or organisation they have proposed if they wish.
As a result, nominees already known to be on the list include Bouteflika, proposed by Algerian members of parliament and ministers, and Kohl, put forward by ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who himself won the prestigious prize in 1990.