#Nobel Peace Prize: Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un among favourites to win

The winner of this year’s Nobel peace prize is set to be announced on Friday in Oslo, and while the committee does not make the nominees public there has been plenty of speculation over who could win the prestigious award.

All that is known is there are 331 nominees – 216 individuals and 115 groups – according to the Nobel committee. The selection process is highly secretive, but here is a list of potential winners based on bookmakers, that includes controversial figures such as Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.

Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in

The leaders of the two Koreas restarted talks earlier this year, leading to tensions in the region plummeting to their lowest level in decades, particularly remarkable given the fact that just a year earlier North Korea and Donald Trump were trading threats of war. The two men held three historic summits this year, after a decade of South Korean policy that was hostile to the North. The pair is currently the favourite at Ladbrokes, the British bookmaker, but it remains to be seen if the Norwegian Nobel committee would award the prize to Kim, who runs one of the most oppressive regimes in the world and a network of notoriously harsh gulags.

Donald Trump

The tweeter-in-chief has repeatedly taken credit for the positive atmosphere on the Korean atmosphere and became the first sitting US president to shake hands with the leader of North Korea when he met Kim in Singapore in June. That followed his decidedly un-peaceful comments last year when he threatened to unleash “fire and fury” on the nuclear-armed state. A group of 18 Republican lawmakers wrote to the Nobel committee in May nominating Trump “in recognition of his work to end the Korean War, denuclearize the Korean peninsula, and bring peace to the region”.
Angela Merkel

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The German chancellor and “Queen of Europe” welcomed hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees into the country in the face of vocal political backlash. She has already been awarded the Saint Francis Lamp for Peace prize this year after she “distinguished herself in the work of reconciliation and the peaceful coexistence among peoples”. Odds put her slightly ahead of the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, which aids refugees around the world and has said more people were displaced in 2017 than any other time in the agency’s history.

The rest

Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor gynaecologist who has campaigned against sexual violence, is another contender for the peace prize. As is Raif Badawi, an imprisoned Saudi blogger, who remains behind bars for “insulting Islam through electronic channels” despite the new king of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to portray himself as a liberalising force. The ACLU, the legal organisation that has been at the forefront of challenging Trump’s policies such as the infamous travel ban or immigrant family separation, is also in the running. Bookmakers have also given good odds to former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium after a failed independence referendum last year. Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May are tied at Ladbrokes with odds of 100-1.

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