A Norwegian MP on Wednesday announced he had nominated US President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“No matter how Trump acts at home and what he says at press conferences, he has absolutely a chance at getting the Nobel Peace Prize,” Tybring-Gjedde from the populist Progress Party, told The Associated Press.
But what are his chances of winning?
What has he been nominated for?
Tybring-Gjedde, an anti-immigrant lawmaker, said Trump should be considered for the award because of his work “for a peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel which opens up for possible peace in the Middle East”.
It was announced in The United Arab Emirates and Israel have agreed to establish full diplomatic ties as part of a deal to halt the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state.
The announcement makes the UAE the first Gulf Arab state to do so and only the third Arab nation to have active diplomatic ties to Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in August released a joint statement with Trump saying they had agreed to establish full diplomatic ties as part of a deal to halt the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state.
Many political commentators saw the move as a big win for Trump as he could show US voters he can close deals of geopolitical significance.
But its critics said it was no more than a publicity stunt and the deal doesn’t represent a meaningful transformation in relations, adding that the one party who would bear the brunt of the move, Palestine, was not involved in the deal.
Indeed, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority labelled the agreement a “betrayal” of the Palestinian cause.
Trump’s chances will swing on how members of the Nobel Committee interprets the move in its majority vote.
Odds swing further in his favour
The odds of Trump winning the prize were slim at the start of the week, standing at 100/1, according to online bookie Betfair.
But upon the announcement the leader had been nominated, Trump’s chances went from a longshot to neck and neck with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at 20/1.
“Donald Trump’s shock inclusion has seen the odds of him winning the prize he has craved for so long fall significantly,” Sam Rosbottom from Betfair said in a statement.
“And now in a year where he is an 11/10 shot to win re-election, it’s impossible to rule him out entirely.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern comes top of the ranking out of all the world leaders at 5/1 — she received worldwide acclaim for her handling of the coronavirus crisis in her country.
The odds-on winners leading the race, according to Betfair, are Greta Thunberg at 3/1 odds and the World Health Organization at 5/2 odds.
What about previous winners?
The Norwegian Nobel Committee receives hundreds of nominations for the prize every year.
While Trump’s nomination may have raised some eyebrows, many previous candidates have been controversial for various reasons.
Often observers have called out the Nobel Committee’s choices of winners for being politically motivated, including those of politician and environmental activist Al Gore, who won with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC in 2007 for “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”.
Some said the winners’ work was not directly related to ending conflict.
Should Trump claim victory, he would not be the first US president to hold the Nobel laureate title — the 2009 prize went to Barack Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”.
But many claimed the award was both politically-driven as well as premature because it was awarded nine months into the former president’s first term, which could not be said of Trump who has has been in office since January 2017.
Some critics have also complained of Eurocentrism in the prize’s winners — notably when the 2012 prize went to the European Union for “over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe” — and a win for Trump or one of the other non-European leaders could silence them.
Despite this, Trump still looks like a long shot for the prize at this stage, but only the announcement of the Peace Prize winner on October 9 at 11:00 CEST will resolve the matter.