Arafat, Rabin take seats among 117 nominees for Nobel award
THE countdown to this year's Nobel Peace Prize has started. The awards committee in Oslo has received 117 nominations, which can be divided into three categories - 67 individuals, 21 nominations of two or three individuals and 29 organisations.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee does not reveal the names of candidates, but among the known nominees are Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat, who last September signed an historic peace accord.Mr Rabin and Mr Arafat were nominated by European Council president Miguel Angel Martinez and several German parliamentarians.
The six-member Nobel Committee meets on Tuesday for its first closed session, starting the process leading to the announcement in mid-October.
The Nobel Foundation has not announced the value of the prize. Last year it was worth 6.7 million Swedish kronor (HK$6.46 million) when it went to South Africa's President Frederik de Klerk and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela.