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Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

97 paragraphs coded in

97 paragraphs coded in the Problem Definition argued that the new government was seeking retribution against the leadership of the MCP. In this respect, the Daily Times (1994b, p.2) noted the following about the UDF government‟s conduct towards the MCP‟s Vice-President Gwanda Chakuamba: . . . the Malawi Congress Party is apprehensive over the fate of its vice- presidential candidate Mr. Gwanda Chakuamba, who is now at the mercy of a seemingly partisan Electoral Commission . . . . One is persuaded to feel that Gwanda Chakuamba is being targeted, using democracy as a weapon . . . . Table 4.3: Unity Frame‟s Problem Definition by the BNL stable and the MCP/AFORD alliance Problem Definitions Presenters Paragraphs Articles Multiparty politics causes national division BNL Newspapers 18 (58.1%) 16 The new president and government are equivocal about unity and are seeking retribution BNL Newspapers 8 (25.8%) 8 The election outcome reflects regionalism BNL Newspapers 5 (16.1%) 5 Total 31 (100%) 29 Problem Definitions Presenters Paragraphs Speeches Electoral outcome has revealed MCP/AFORD 6 (66.7%) 6 disunity Alliance UDF wants to marginalise the MCP MCP/AFORD Alliance 3 (33.3%) 3 Total 9 (100%) 9 In the above aspect, there was agreement between the MCP/AFORD alliance and the BNL newspapers. There were three paragraphs coded from the parliamentary corpus arguing that the UDF-led government intended to isolate and marginalise the MCP from national politics and governance issues (See Table 4.3). Chipimpha Mughogho (1994, p.135) noted that: “If this nation is to be truly united let us not isolate the MCP as we are doing now!” O.I. Mkandawire (1994, p.130) argued:

98 Any leader governing a fragmented people as we are, is sitting on a time bomb. . . . That is why the MCP must not be marginalised as appears to be the case right now. Another argument which the BNL newspapers advanced was a claim that the just ended general elections had divided the country. There were five paragraphs in the Problem Definition component coded to this aspect (See Table 4.3). The BNL newspapers‟ position was very similar to one taken by the MCP. In this respect, MCP/AFORD alliance MPs argued on the National Assembly floor that the elections had been particularly divisive and the nation needed to find ways of reuniting. The BNL newspapers charged that the cause of the divisions in the country could also be traced to the continued vilification of the MCP evident in the rhetoric of the UDF leadership and the contents of the UDF related media. As one editorial writer (Malawi News, 1994a, p.2) argued: “. . . the UDF is attempting to turn the people against the MCP.” There were five paragraphs coded to this aspect of the Causal Interpretation component of this frame (See Table 4.4). Table 4.4: Unity Frame‟s Causal Interpretation in the BNL newspapers Causal Interpretations Presenters Paragraphs Articles The new government‟s vilification of the MCP BNL newspapers 5 (100%) 5 Total 5 (100%) 5 Causal Interpretations Presenters Paragraphs Articles Lack of cooperation among the three MCP/AFORD 16 (45.7%) 16 parties Alliance UDF is against unity MCP/AFORD Alliance 16 (45.7%) 16 Malawians hate each other now MCP/AFORD Alliance 3 (8.6%) 3 Total 35 (100%) 35

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