2016: A new chance for three worthy candidates?

The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet deserved the Peace Prize in 2015. Norwegian and international commentators have been unanimous in their tributes. However, this might easily become "a prize for oblivion" in the history of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee could have chosen other laureates, who could have put the Norwegian government in an awkward position. The Nobel Peace Prize some times is problematic for Norwegian political authorities.
Let us study three nominees not chosen in 2015. What problems would such choices have created for Norwegian political authorities, and does the committee have the courage to challenge them in 2016?

1 The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
ICAN was founded in 2007 and is the leading international campaign against nuclear weapons. It has 424 partner organizations in 95 countries, it has close contact with other disarmament organizations and research groups and maintains regular contact with several governments worldwide. ICAN's Norwegian website states: "The organization will work to mobilize the people of all countries to inspire, convince and push their governments to start negotiations for an agreement banning nuclear weapons".
ICAN in Norway protested when the Norwegian government in November 2015 abstained or voted no to four UN resolutions which state that nuclear weapons have unacceptable humanitarian consequences and that will prohibit such weapons. It was expected that the government would vote so because Norway is a member of NATO. If the Norwegian Nobel Committee chose ICAN, the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservative) would be embarrassed. It might be difficult for her to congratulate a laureate of this kind.
In 2015 ICAN was nominated by Norwegian MP Bård Vegard Solhjell (Socialist Left Party). When the organization urged the Norwegian government to support the UN resolutions it was supported by former Cabinet Minister Åse Kleveland (Social Democrat) and Bishop Emeritus Gunnar Stålsett. The latter had been member of the Nobel Committee for many years. By choosing ICAN the Norwegian Nobel Committee could have shown the world that nuclear weapons are the greatest threat to Humanity ever. That would have been to maintain a tradition in the history of the Peace Prize. Thirty years after the nuclear attack on Japan in 1945 atom opponent Andrej Sakharov was chosen. Ten years later International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) was a worthy winner. In 1995 Joseph Rotblat shared the Peace Prize with the Pugwash Conferences, and in 2005 the choice fell on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.
In 2015 however, tradition was broken. The Nobel Committee chose the uncontroversial Tunisian Quartet, and Norwegian authorities could breathe a sigh of relief. The Norwegian foreign policy peace was secured, and the country showed once again that it is an obedient member of NATO.

2 Novaya Gazeta or Memorial
In 2015 the Russian opposition newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, and the Human Rights organisation Memorial, were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Novaya Gazeta was founded with economic support from Peace Prize winner of 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev - while Andrej Sakharov, the 1975 Peace Prize winner, initiated Memorial.
If the Peace Prize had been awarded to one or both these candidates, president Putin quite probably would have reacted very negatively - like Chinese authorities did when they learned about the Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo in 2010.
There is however not probable that the Russians had made Norwegian authorities responsible for the acts of the Nobel Committee like the Chinese did in 2010. When Andrej Sakharov got the prize in 1975, Norway was not met with sanctions by the Soviet Union. The relationship between Norway and the Soviet Union/Russia has traditionally been good. The Russians have always stressed the fact that the two countries have never been at war with each other - and that the relationship has been marked by co-operation - especially in the northern areas. The cultural differences are also much smaller between Russia and Norway than between China and Norway.
Should Russia, however, nevertheless want to punish Norway, it would probably be not politically but by extended economic sanctions.
When Norway joined the economic sanctions put forward from the West in 2014 against Russia because of the annexation of the Crimea and the interference into Ukraine, Russia responded with economic sanctions against the West - including Norway. This hit the Norwegian export of fish to Russia hard. In November 2015 the West renewed its sanctions against Russia. In this situation, a Peace Prize to Russian regime critics probably would have lead to stronger Russian reaction towards Norway - for instance by even greater restrictions on trade between the two countries, increased military activity near Norwegian borders and less enthusiasm regarding the so called Barents Co-operation. Through this co-operation Russian and Norwegian authorities have worked together since 1993 - carving out common rules for the exploitation of the Arctic.

3 Raif Badawi
The Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was among the favourites for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. He was convicted and sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison for insulting Islam. He was severely injured when he received the first 50 lashes in January, a punishment which triggered an international campaign against the suppression of human rights in Saudi Arabia.
The criticism from Amnesty International and other activists did not convince the Norwegian Nobel Committee; but ironically it was strong enough for the European parliament to reward Badawi with EU's Sakharov Prize for human rights, an honour received by several Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
A Nobel Peace Prize to Badawi would undoubtedly have provoked Saudi authorities. While the Nobel Committee was making its decision in the spring of 2015 plausible reactions became evident when the Swedish foreign minister denounced the subjugation of women, the use of medieval methods to silence modern forms of expression and the lack of democracy in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government withdrew its ambassador, stopped issuing visas to Swedish businessmen and blocked the foreign minister from speaking about human rights at a meeting of the Arab League. The conflict ended when the Swedish King in a letter to Saudi monarch Salman apologized for having insulted Islam.
The Swedish experience clearly demonstrated that it would be difficult for the Norwegian government and King to support a peace prize for Badawi. Confronted with Saudi political and economic sanctions it would be a challenge for them to take part in the celebration for a disputed Nobel laureate.
The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee may have taken similar arguments into consideration when they made their final decision. At the same time they probably were not ready to choose " an Arab Ossietzky" as long as the diplomatic Sino-Norwegian conflict after the Liu Xiaobo Prize was unresolved. Facing such consequences it must have been easier to award the undisputed Tunisian Quartet. Once again the committee focused on organizing, dialogue and compromise as main instruments of peace.
If the Nobel Committee had decided on one of the candidates mentioned above, it would have shown its independence of Norwegian political authorities