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OSLO: An award that generates as much interest as the Nobel Peace Prize is bound to be surrounded by myths. Geir Lundestad, secretary of the secretive committee that awards the prize, outlines some of the most common misunderstandings:
Myth #1: The awards committee announces a shortlist of candidates. The committee does not release the names of any candidates and keeps records sealed for 50 years.
Myth #2: A campaign for a particular candidate can sway the awards committee. A campaign could have the exact opposite effect on the fiercely independent committee, which does not want to appear influenced by public pressure.
Myth #3: Candidates can be nominated until the last minute. The nomination deadline is eight months before the announcement, with a strictly enforced deadline of Feb. 1.