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Record number of Nobel nominations

PUBLISHED: 04:05 15 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:21 03 March 2010

A record 151 nominations have been received for the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize so far - many of them related to the response to the September 11 attacks - including ones for Prime Minister Tony Blair and US president George Bush.

A record 151 nominations have been received for the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize so far - many of them related to the response to the September 11 attacks - including ones for Prime Minister Tony Blair and US president George Bush.

The number of nominations was expected to increase by the time a final count is available in late February.

According to the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, 117 individuals and 34 organisations had been nominated for the prize. Nominations must be postmarked by the February 1 deadline.

The awards committee can also add its own candidates at its first meeting of the year, on February 21, so the total is likely to be higher. Last year, there were 136 valid nominations.

Olav Njoelstad, acting director of the institute, said 67 of the nominations were first-time candidates and that the September 11 terror attacks on the United States had been a clear factor in many of this year's nominations.

Last year's prize, which was shared by the United Nations and its secretary general, Kofi Annan, was decided ahead of the attacks that levelled the World Trade Centre in New York and damaged the Pentagon in Washington.

"September 11 has clearly effected the nominations," Njoelstad said.

The secretive, five-member awards committee does not comment on nominations, and keeps the lists of candidates secret for 50 years.

However, those making nominations often announce them. This year, those include President Bush and Mr Blair for their campaign against world terrorism.

Other September 11-related nominations mentioned, but not confirmed, include former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Guy Tozzoli, an engineer who helped design the World Trade Centre.

Others announced included Rome-based Catholic group Church of Sant'Egidio for peace and humanitarian efforts and the Mission of Mercy humanitarian group for work in Latin America.

Some names are commonly presumed to be on the list, like former US President Jimmy Carter, the International Red Cross, Chinese Falun Gong movement founder Li Hongzhi, the Salvation Army and jailed Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu.

The Nobel Prize winners are named in mid-October and the awards are presented on December 10 — the day their founder, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, died in 1896. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, and the others in Stockholm, Sweden.

AP

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