- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is reportedly in the running to receive the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr. Trump, who has attracted international backlash over his controversial rhetoric and call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., has reportedly earned a nod for the award thanks to his tough talk on terrorism and other security threats from around the world, according to Nobel watcher Kristian Berg Harpviken, the director of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo.

In the nomination letter Mr. Harpviken said he had received, supporters said Mr. Trump deserved the prize for “his vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China,” Agence France-Presse reported.

Thousands of people around the world are allowed to make nominations for the prestigious award, including members of parliament and government ministers, former prize winners and some university professors.

The Nobel Institute accepts all valid nominations, which must be posted by Feb. 1, but the names of the nominees are secret.

Other nominees rumored to be in the running are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was chosen as Time’s person of the year for 2015, and Pope Francis, AFP reported.

An online petition Monday earned roughly 630,000 signatures calling for the prize to be given to Greek islanders who have helped desperate migrants fleeing conflict in the Middle East. But the nomination faces a size problem as Nobel prizes can only be shared by a maximum of three laureates.

The 2015 peace prize was won last year by four Tunisian groups that led the country’s transition to democracy.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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