German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of peace talks in Colombia are seen as the top contenders for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the International Peace Research Institute said.
Merkel is favored to win for her response to this year’s refugee crisis while Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Timoleon Jimenez, the leader of the country’s biggest guerrilla group, are also in contention for the prize, Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the Oslo-based institute that ranks potential winners each year, said in a statement.
“In a time when many have dodged responsibility, Merkel has shown true leadership and risen above politics, taking a humane approach in a difficult situation,” Berg Harpviken said. Other contenders include Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Jeanne Nacatche Banyere, Jeannette Kahindo Bindu and Dr. Denis Mukwege for their engagement against sexual violence and Japan’s Article 9 Association, he said.
The prize, along with literature, physics and medicine honors, was created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel and first awarded in 1901. Past winners include Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban, and India’s Kailash Satyarthi, who shared the prize last year, as well as U.S. President Barack Obama and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.. The Norwegian Nobel Committee selects the peace prize recipient. The economics prize was instituted by the Swedish central bank.
The prize winner will be announced on Oct. 9. The institute doesn’t help pick the winners.