Nobel peace prize? Many names, few certainties

OSLO: Donald Trump? Hardly. Reconciliation between the Koreas? Rather premature. Peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea? Probably missed the deadline. As the 2018 Nobel peace prize looms, it’s easier to rule out names than guess who’s going to win.
This year the field of possibilities facing the five members of the Norwegian committee tasked with awarding the prize was pretty wide, with 331 individuals and organisations proposed for the prestigious prize, which will be announced on Friday in Oslo.
And, as usual, despite the fact the list of candidates is a secret, predictions about who might win are gathering pace.
With the postponement of this year’s Literature Prize for the first time in 70 years over a #MeToo scandal at the Swedish Academy, Friday’s peace award has become the most highly anticipated Nobel announcement this year.
Looking at the odds on some of the online betting sites, you might think North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-In were the front-runners for their efforts at rapprochement between the two nations.
But the Nobel experts — who are more often than not wrong — are scratching their heads.
“On the one hand, the inter-Korean breakthrough is I think the most dramatic thing in this field this year,” said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). “On the other hand I wonder whether it would be premature to be giving the prize on that basis this year.” Apart from anything else, Kim’s record on human rights hardly stands in his favour. — AFP