Radio Romania International continued its traditional end-of-the-year survey among its listeners on the short wave, the Internet and social media. We challenged you to nominate a person from any walk of life which, in your opinion, left their mark on the world in a positive way in 2016.
A number of politicians top the list of nominations, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Columbian President Jose Manuel Santos, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate this year. Pope Francis himself got several nominations. The list goes on with the name of US president Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate in the US presidential race this year Hillary Clinton, former British Prime Minister David Cameron, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, King Mohammed the VI of Morocco or Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. The former Cuban leader Fidel Castro also got a few nominations.
From outside the political sphere, the nominations targeted Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg, Bayern Munchen and German team goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, the great Italian oncologist surgeon Umberto Veronesi, who also died this year, or the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist in the shooting event, Hoang Xuan Vinh of Vietnam.
However, based on the highest number of suggestions coming from RRI listeners, the Personality of the Year 2016 on RRI is the 45th US President Donald Trump! Paul Jamet of France explains his choice: “It’s incontrovertible, for me the Personality of the Year is Donald Trump! Whether we like him or not, we have to admit he knew how to surpass his odds. As a vocal supporter of the EU, I think Donald Trump is a genuine opportunity for the Union. Yes, because if he curbs the US’ participation in NATO to save money, then the EU will have to create a Europe of Defense, something it has so far failed to do. If the Americans draw back, the EU will then have the possibility of strengthening its presence and influence around the world. Will we seize all these opportunities?” In turn, Hugo Longhi of Argentina wrote: “With all his eccentricities, the President elect of the US will keep everyone guessing. He’s like an arrow that you don’t know where it might end. Governments right, center or left of the political spectrum all share in the concern regarding his actions. His actions will not go by unnoticed and I doubt there’s any press agency in the world that has not written a single piece on him”. Finally, A.C. Rathinavel of India said: “Who other than…Mr. President-Elect, USA Donald Trump. He broke every data, did the unbelievable and topped in the US!”