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

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

103 coded to this

103 coded to this particular effect. In their moral evaluations, the newspapers blamed the MCP for failing to ably deal with national division. Instead the MCP was accused of deliberately fostering a policy which divided the nation. Nampuntha (1994) argued that the MCP: . . . developed and perfected a culture in which a select few people were elected to prominent positions of power and wealth based primarily on ethnic and other tribal considerations . . . . a lot of people in the various regions became disenchanted, disillusioned and alienated that they no longer could trust the MCP. Just like the Nation and the Chronicle, the UDF MPs in the National Assembly accused the opposition of attempting to force the UDF into a government of national unity. This aspect was coded five times in the parliamentary corpus (See Table 4.8). The UDF MPs argued that unity should not mean a government of national unity, as the UDF MP, Lemani (1994) argued: “Unity should not mean a government of national unity.” Table 4.8: Unity Frame‟s Causal Interpretation in the Nation and the Chronicle, the UDF Causal Interpretations Presenters Paragraphs Articles Failure to field credible candidates Nation and 4 (44.4%) 4 in lost regions Chronicle Opposition unwilling to accept Nation and 3 (33.3%) 3 defeat and role Chronicle MCP policies were divisive Nation and Chronicle 2 (22.2%) 2 Total 9 (100%) 9 Causal Interpretations Presenters Paragraphs Articles Reconciliation does not mean a GNU UDF 5 (62.5%) 5 Forgive but do not forget UDF 3 (37.5%) 3 Total 8 (100%) 8

104 In their moral evaluations, the Nation and the Chronicle refused to acknowledge that there was a unity problem. Instead, they attributed nefarious motives to the MCP‟s call for national unity. Basically, as in the problem definition and causal interpretation, they accused the MCP of attempting to draw attention away from its rule which had been characterised by human rights abuses. In this respect, the MCP itself was accused of moral failing by refusing to own up to its record of human rights abuse. The two newspapers did not see moral problems in people electing candidates from home stating that it was only natural for people to do so (Nampuntha, 1994, p.6; Makwiti, 1994, p.6) (See Table 4.9). Table 4.9: Unity Frame‟s Moral Evaluations in the Nation and the Chronicle Moral Evaluations Presenters Paragraphs Articles The MCP is the cause of all this Nation and 5 (35.7%) 5 disunity Chronicle There is no unity problem and calls Nation and 6 (42.8%) 6 for unity distract from truth searching Chronicle Blood is thicker than water Nation and Chronicle 3 (21.4%) 3 Total 14 (100%) 14 The UDF MPs in the National Assembly did not offer any treatment recommendations at all. The Nation and the Chronicle simply argued (in six paragraphs appearing in 6 articles) that it was everyone‟s responsibility to ensure that the nation was united. The two newspapers were in agreement with the BNL newspapers that unifying cultural events would have the effects of bringing citizens together. When the UDF government decided not to celebrate Independence Day in 1994, an editorial writer in the Nation (1994a) observed:

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