U2 singer Bono and Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar are among 166 nominees for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, a list that also includes Pope John Paul II and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
“We have received 166 nominations so far, of which 29 are organizations,” says director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute Geir Lundestad. “The geographical scope is wide.”
As usual, he declined to name any candidates for the prize, which last year went to Kenya’s Wangari Maathai, the head of a tree-planting movement and the first environmentalist to win. Some names have been made public or leaked privately by people nominating them.
The 10 million Swedish crown ($1.43 million) prize will be announced in October and awarded on Dec. 10.
Many Nobel watchers believe the 2005 award will go to an individual or a group involved with relief efforts after the devastating Dec. 26 tsunami, such as Save the Children or Oxfam.
The deadline for mailing nominations for the award, named after Swedish dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, passed on Feb. 1. Those who can make nominations include members of parliaments, former Nobel laureates and some university professors.
The Nobel committee broadened its interpretation of peace last year by picking an environmentalist. Another unorthodox pick would be a musician, such as Bono or Shankar.
The pope, nominated many times, is unlikely to win since the five-member awards committee is widely believed to object to his conservative moral teachings, like opposing birth control.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is nominated for his role in his country’s peaceful “Orange Revolution,” former Czech President Vaclav Havel is on the list as he has been several times before, and one group, “Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005,” wants the prize split between 1,000 women around the world.
The number of nominations might rise with some arriving late even if they are postmarked by Feb. 1. Also, committee members can make nominations at their first meeting after the deadline. Last year, a record 194 candidates were nominated.
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