10/03/2011 06:11 EDT | Updated 12/03/2011 05:12 EST

Nobel Peace Prize winner endorses NDP candidate in Ottawa Centre riding

OTTAWA - A Nobel Peace Prize winner is taking an interest in Ontario's election.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was awarded the prize in 1984, is backing NDP candidate Anil Naidoo in the Ottawa Centre riding.

Naidoo is running against incumbent Liberal Yasir Naqvi, who has held the riding since 2007.

Tutu — who turns 80 this week — is known for fighting apartheid in his home country of South Africa.

Naidoo was born in South Africa but his family escaped apartheid to come to Canada.

He has worked with Tutu on international issues and has campaigned for human rights and environmental groups.

Naidoo said he was honoured by Tutu's endorsement.

"By his words and his deeds, his commitment to overcoming political and economic inequality has made him one of my political heroes," said Naidoo.

Tutu described Naidoo as "an advocate for the human right to water, the rights of nature and progressive environmental causes."