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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 02:25 GMT 03:25 UK
Nobel prize winner to be revealed
By Lars Bevanger
BBC News, Oslo

Former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari
Martti Ahtisaari is being touted as the front runner
The winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize will be revealed in a few hours' time in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has been shrouded in secrecy, as usual, about who will be awarded the prestigious prize, but speculation is rife.

Every year commentators, journalists and people on the street in Oslo try their best to guess who will win.

The Nobel committee is extremely secretive about its workings and will not even publish who the nominees are.

Still, many of those who nominate do spill the beans, and this year's front-runner with most analysts here is the former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari.

He helped broker peace between the Indonesian government and rebels from the Gam Movement in the province of Aceh last year.

Commentators have pointed out it is the only peace process in recent years which has actually been successful.

The prize can be split, opening the way for a joint award to Mr Ahtisaari, the Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Gam leadership.

Women's right?

Others say it is time a Muslim female from Asia got the prize.

The Chinese dissident Rebiya Kadeer fits all those criteria. She has been championing the rights of Western China's Uighur ethnic group and is one of China's most prominent advocates of women's rights.

The International Crisis Group, an NGO working in the field and on diplomatic level to resolve conflicts around the world, has been pointed out as a possible candidate too, along with its leader, the former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans.

Still, no-one but the Norwegian Nobel Committee will know the winner for sure until the 1100 (0900 GMT) announcement on Friday.


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