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Bush nominated for Nobel Peace
Updated: 2004-03-03 09:02

U.S. President Bush, Pope John Paul II and the two U.N. officials at the heart of the effort to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq are among the nominees for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

Tuesday's nominating deadline brought the number of candidates for the prestigious prize to 194 50 organizations and 144 individuals, said Geir Lundestad, secretary of the secretive awards committee. The winner of the $1.3 million award will be announced in mid-October.

The five-member committee keeps the list of candidates secret for 50 years, only releasing the number of nominations it receives, but those making the nominations often announce their choice.

This year, those nominated include Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, former Czech President Vaclav Havel, the pope, the European Union, former chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, who still heads the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Other known candidates for the 2004 award are kidnapped Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya and jailed Israeli technician Mordechai Vanunu, for exposing his country's nuclear weapons program.

Sen. Richard Lugar and former Sen. Sam Nunn were nominated for their program to dismantle nuclear weapons left over from the Soviet Union.

Other likely, but not confirmed, nominations include the Salvation Army; South African Adurrazack Achmat and the Treatment Action Campaign for their work fighting AIDS; the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian activist group; Russian anti-war group Mothers in Black; and Italian charity The Community of Sant' Egidio.

The award is always presented on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the death of its founder, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, and the other Nobel prizes are presented in the Swedish capital, Stockholm.

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