Skip to comments.Michael Jackson up for Nobel Peace Prize tomorrow
Posted on 10/08/2003 6:30:08 PM PDT by jmcclain19
Michael Jackson not Nobel favorite
This year's Nobel Peace Prize winner is very hard to guess, but US pop star Michael Jackson is among nominees who can forget the award, the director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute said on Monday.
"This year is very difficult" to guess, Lundestad told Reuters of a record field of 165 candidates. The prize, worth 10 million Swedish crowns (USD 1.29 million), will be announced on Friday.
Tips for the 2003 prize include Pope John Paul, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Chinese or Iranian dissidents, the European Union and former Czech President Vaclav Havel.
"There are many good candidates, the vast majority of them are serious names. Michael Jackson is maybe not such a serious name, but there are very few in that category," Lundestad said. Jackson has been nominated for promoting peace via pop.
The 2001 award to the United Nations and Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the 2000 prize to South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung were relatively easy to predict, he said. Former US President Jimmy Carter, a perennial nominee, won in 2002.
Lundestad said the biggest surprise in recent years was when veteran ban-the-bomb scientist Joseph Rotblat won in 1995. Even Rotblat had trouble believing it when Lundestad phoned.
Lundestad typically calls the winner about 45 minutes before the prize is publicly announced at 0900 GMT in Oslo. He said he sometimes does not call when there is a clear favorite - Annan, for instance, did not get a call.
He also said the committee had maintained a left-of-center outlook on world affairs even though three new members joined the five-member panel for six-year terms this year. Lundestad is secretary to the committee, attends all meetings but has no vote.
This year is the first with committee members appointed by five different Norwegian political parties - from far-left to far-right and reflecting the fractured Norwegian parliament since backing for the Labor Party crashed in 2001 elections.
"Norwegians tend to have the same outlook on foreign affairs with two big exceptions - the EU and the Middle East," Lundestad said. "Most Norwegians are automatically, in an international perspective, slightly left of center."
Norway voted "No" to joining the EU in referendums in 1994 and 1972 and the issue is still highly divisive. The Middle East also splits opinion in Norway, which hosted talks on the failed 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestinians.
Can't Pepsi do this?
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