Surprise Winner of Nobel Peace Prize

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today, honored for its contributions to building a pluralistic democracy in the country in the wake of revolution.

The quartet was formed in 2013 and, according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, "it established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war."

The National Dialogue Quartet consists of the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League, and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers.

Kaci Kullmann Five, chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, announced the winner. The committee, in a statement announcing the award, expressed hope that the prize will encourage Tunisian residents and others facing challenges.

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that this year's prize will contribute towards safeguarding democracy in Tunisia and be an inspiration to all those who seek to promote peace and democracy in the Middle East, North Africa and the rest of the world," the statement reads.

People who generated buzz for this year's award include Pope Francis, German chancellor Angela Merkel, the Rev. Mussi Zerai, an Eritrean priest who helps coordinate rescue missions for migrants crossing the Mediterranean, and Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

Last year's winners were Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has been awarding the Nobel Peace Prize since 1901.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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