President Vladimir Putin will have to face off competition from gay rights activists to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Ugandan activist Frank Mugisha, Russia advocate Igor Kotchetkov, Nepal’s first openly gay politician Sunil Babu Pant are among the record 278 nominees for the million dollar prize.
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association is also among the nominees.
Despite Russia’s actions in the Crimea region of the Ukraine, Putin was reportedly nominated for helping to defuse last year’s crisis in Syria.
Russia’s International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, who also nominated the president last year, said Putin is more deserving than 2009 winner Barack Obama.
Peace Research Institute Oslo revealed Norwegian politicians Anette Trettebergstuen and Hakon Haugli put forward the gay rights activists’ names.
It is believed they were all put forward to recognize the work they have done fighting against injustice and discrimination across the world.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Pant said: ‘I am happy that the Norwegian parliamentarians recognized the LGBTI struggle.
‘We promote love and love promotes peace.’
Pope Francis and Edward Snowden, who leaked thousands of surveillance documents to media outlets, also received nominations.
Although nominations are kept secret for 50 years, thousands of people around the world are eligible to propose candidates, including any member of any national assembly, and many make their picks public.
The committee narrowed its list to between 25 and 40 on Tuesday and it will cut its list to about a dozen by the end of April.
First awarded in 1901, the prize includes 8 million Swedish crowns ($1.24m, €903k) in case.
The winner will be announced on 10 October and the prize presented on 10 December.