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Helmut Kohl a favourite for Nobel Peace Prize

The Local · 7 Oct 2010, 11:36

Published: 07 Oct 2010 11:36 GMT+02:00

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Shortly prior to the announcement of the renowned prize in Olso on Friday, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported that the 80-year-old Christian Democratic politician was among a small circle of favourites, which also included human rights activists from China, Russia and Afghanistan.

Last year’s prize was won by US President Barack Obama. The last German winner was former Chancellor Willy Brandt, who was awarded the prize in 1971 for his policy of reconciliation with communist neighbours to the east, known as Ostpolitik.

Though the full list of candidates stretches to 237 names, close observers say the favourites have been narrowed down to a short list.

Kohl was chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and helped guide the country’s reunification in 1990. Along with former French President François Mitterrand, Kohl is also seen as a key architect of the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union.

Also regarded as favourites are the jailed Chinese writer and activist Liu Xiaobo, who would be the first Chinese recipient of the prize, Afghan women’s rights campaigner Sima Samar, and Russian rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina.

Other names on the list include the Dalai Lama and former Czech president Vaclav Havel.

The director of the Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad, has reported attempted intimidation by the Chinese government over Liu's candidacy. Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying threatened in June that there could be “a deterioration in Chinese-Norwegian relations.”

Story continues below…

However criticism of Liu has also came from another, more unexpected quarter: some 14 other Chinese dissidents who form part of a “committee of exiles” have said Liu would be an “unsuitable prizewinner,” the New York Times has reported.

DPA/The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:35 October 7, 2010 by peter douglas
The nobel peace price has turned into a joke.Helmut kohl come on guys be serious.
13:03 October 7, 2010 by OMFG
I'm not exactly a Kohl fan, but...

Those who know what Germany's reunification and the creation of the European Union mean for the global peace, and what Kohl's role actually was in both these historic events (unprecedented in the case of Germany's reunification), those will agree that Kohl is a more than justified candidate for the Nobel Peace Price.

I've been in my early 20s when reunification happened. Of course, many politicians and diplomats have been involved to make it happen, some of which we never even heard the names. But Kohl's outstanding accomplishment has been to sense the signs of the time, and to diplomatically act accordingly... He (and others involved in the reunification process - why not sharing it?) merits the Nobel Peace Price.
15:11 October 7, 2010 by mirzanr
Perhaps, the candidates under various categories should be recommended by the concerned governments. Otherwise, Noble Institute can have a significant impact on deciding about a nation's heros which seems pretty unjust (as is in the case of China).
15:43 October 7, 2010 by athanasius
If Barack Obama made it to the Nobel Peace Prize last year, why can't Helmut Kohl? He's far more qualified than the present US president.
19:15 October 7, 2010 by Richard Hurlbrink
It he wins the prize does that mean he will have to pay back all the money he took under the table? Any way, the awarding of the prize to Obama last year showed that it is both politicial and a joke.
19:23 October 7, 2010 by SRaab
Over 300 million DM in illegal funds were discovered in accounts in the canton Geneva.

Yea, lets give him a noble peace price.

Oh yea, @ athananus, your an anus
20:07 October 7, 2010 by ngwanem
hey looking for tips on winning the nobel peace prize? i'm dead serious. thanks
22:35 October 7, 2010 by veritas_69
Reunification = Nobel Prize

Creation of the European Union = Forced to live in Romania with Gypsies.
23:11 October 7, 2010 by pepsionice
You could do worse....you could do better. Kohl probably is in the middle.
01:45 October 11, 2010 by Prufrock2010
He didn't win. Why is this nonstory still up?
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