Nobel Peace Prize

UPDATE: Angela Merkel's day just got even worse

Despite being favourite, the Chancellor failed to scoop the Nobel Peace Prize. First the football, and now this.

Germany Dialogue For Women Michael Sohn Michael Sohn

Updated 10.25am

TODAY LOOKED LIKE it would be a promising Friday for one Angela Merkel.

Instead she wakes up to a nation stunned by a football result in Dublin and to the news that she hasn’t picked up this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, despite going in as overwhelming favourite.

The winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was announced at a ceremony this morning – and the accolade went to Tunisian civil society organisations – the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet – for their work on democracy. 

According to commentators, it looked like German chancellor Angela Merkel could be in line to get the honour. Something that would have been a nice pick-me-up, especially given how last night’s events may have put a dent in both Merkel’s and the German nation’s confidence.

Germany’s influential Bild newspaper reported last week that Merkel (61) had “a good chance” of winning, in part over her open-door policy on refugees fleeing war and persecution.

“Reasons: her actions in the Ukraine crisis and the refugee policies,” the German daily said.

However, at the announcement today, the Tunisian groups were praised for taking the country back from the brink of civil war with an alternative peace process.

A total of 276 nominations were submitted for this year’s peace prize – two short of the record 278 last year.

Other names in the mix were:

Mussie Zerai

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Founder of the humanitarian organisation “Habeshia” which aids those fleeing war and persecution, Zerai moves between the Vatican and Switzerland, where he offers support to mainly Ethiopian and Eritrean Catholics seeking shelter.

The Eritrean priest, himself a former refugee, takes calls from people in these situations.

It was in May 2003 that Zerai received his first call from the Mediterranean in the middle of the night in what he initially thought was a joke.

Since then, he has received hundreds of similar calls at every hour of the day, including during mass.

Novaya Gazeta

Russia Lawyer Killed Associated Press Associated Press

No Nobel speculation would be complete without the list of Russian activists and organisations who jealously guard their independence from President Vladimir Putin.

This year it’s the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, known for its investigations into corruption and human rights abuses.

Pope Francis

Vatican Family Associated Press Associated Press

You might know him. He’s the pope.

Denis Mukwege

France EU Sakharov Prize Christian Lutz / AP/Press Association Images Christian Lutz / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege has treated thousands of women brutalised by rape in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear Weapons CyberA mockup of a Minuteman 3 nuclear missileSource: Associated Press

In 1975, Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov received the nod, in 1985 it was the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, in 1995 it was Joseph Rotblat and the Pugwash movement, and in 2005 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its director Mohamed El-Baradei.

According to Peter Wallensteen, a professor at Sweden's Uppsala University, if one were to follow that line of thinking, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) could be another contender.

- © AFP, 2015, additional reporting by Nicky Ryan and Sinéad O'Carroll; first published 6.10am

Read: 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai has won the Nobel Peace Prize >

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