Most members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee initially argued against awarding the 2009 Peace Prize to President Barack Obama before agreeing to the choice, Norway's top-selling daily Verdens Gang (VG) said on Thursday.Apparently the issue was not only whether he had really achieved enough during his first 9 months in office, but also Obama's policies since taking office:
The paper said three of five members had objections during the early phases of the process, but were persuaded in favor of Obama mainly by the chairman of the committee, former Prime Minister Thorbjoern Jagland.
VG said one of the newly elected members, Aagot Valle from the Socialist Left Party, had strong objections to giving the prize to Obama.The prime mover behind all this was of course the chairman of the committee, former Prime Minister Thorbjoern Jagland, and giving the award to President Obama appears to be just his style:
"I had expected a debate, especially around the issues I find problematic, the war in Afghanistan," Valle told daily Bergens Tidende earlier this week.
Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, a former member of parliament for the opposition right-wing Progress Party, believed it was too early for Obama to win the prize, according to the paper.
Kaci Kullman Five, the Conservative Party's leader from 1991-94, also voiced opinions against the decision, VG said.
Jagland is known in Norway for liking dramatic gestures but is prone to gaffes.There are those who would say that both of Jagland's traits are on show in giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama.
When Jagland was prime minister in 1997, Labour lost power after he rashly said Labour would quit if it failed in an election to get 36.9 percent of the vote, matching a result in 1993. Labour fell just short and he stood down.