5 Mar 2013

Record number of nominations for Nobel Prize

6:03 am on 5 March 2013

The Nobel Institute says a record 259 nominees are in the running for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

The list of 209 individuals and 50 organisations is known to include Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani schoolgirl who became a symbol of resistance after she was shot by the Taliban, and former US president Bill Clinton.

The winner will be announced in October.

The previous record dates back to 2011 when 241 candidates were nominated.

"This reflects a growing interest for the prize. The nominations come from the entire world," said Nobel Institute head Geir Lundestad.

The list of nominees is kept secret for 50 years. But those eligible to nominate candidates include former laureates, members of parliament and governments - and they can reveal the names they have put forward.

The deadline for nominations closed on 1 February and the prize will be awarded on 10 December, the anniversary of the death in 1896 of philanthropist Alfred Nobel.

Last year the award went to the European Union.