The Nobel Peace Prize awarding Norwegian Nobel Committee on Tuesday elected a new chairman to replace Thorbjoern Jagland, whose six-year tenure has been lined with controversies.
Jagland will remain a member of the voting panel but was a contentious leader, attracting criticism for his dual role as committee chairman and head of the European Council when the prize was awarded to the European Union in 2012. His leadership also was clouded by the decision to give the prize to Barack Obama in 2009 after he had just been elected president, and the 2010 prize to the jailed dissident Liu Xiabo drew fury from China. (Emphasis added.)
The former labor politician was replaced by the panel’s deputy chairman, Kaci Kullmann Five, a former conservative party leader. She denied that Jagland’s ousting had anything to do with pressure from China, which froze diplomatic ties to Norway after the 2010 award.
The composition of the committee reflects the power structure in Norway’s Parliament which appoints the members. The leadership change follows 2013 parliamentary elections that brought the Conservatives into power after years of Labor Party rule. Continue reading