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

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

117 citizens who had

117 citizens who had repudiated the single party system in the 16 th June 1993 referendum and the 17 th May 1994 elections. Thus, one would expect the Nation and the Chronicle were on more solid ground in their framing of the Governance Frame. With 18 of the 31 paragraphs in the frame, these two newspapers drew on the prevailing egalitarian political values which included respect for human rights and the consent of the governed. One editorial writer in the Nation noted that the new president had come to power, not on the strength of his personality, rather on the “crest of human rights and the wishes of the people.” (1994a, p.4). Indeed, the removal of the MCP from power was presented as a change of governing ideology by the people from authoritarianism to democracy as Msisha (1994, p.8) argued in the Nation: “Malawians ushered in political pluralism in a concerted effort to do away with dictatorship.” This type of framing was reflected in the parliamentary corpus were the UDF MPs with support from the AFORD MPs drove the Governance Frame. They extolled the virtues of democracy and its focus on the dignity of the individual, as Erwin Maluwa (1994) argued on the National Assembly floor: . . . today men, women, children . . . are walking, talking, going about their business without fear whatsoever (applause). In short, the BNL newspapers and the MCP drew on traditional African values of community over the individual to frame multiparty politics as unsuitable for Malawi. On the other hand, the Nation and Chronicle and the UDF drew on the new prevailing culture of openness and human rights to show how the multiparty era presented Malawians with better options. 4.3.4 Summary

118 The foregoing section discussed the Unity Frames and the Governance Frames as detected in the newspapers corpus and the parliamentary corpus. Further, the section observed how the newspapers mirrored relevant political parties to which their owners were affiliated. The MCP/AFORD alliance and the BNL newspapers constructed the Unity Frame by offering a narrative that presented the lack of unity as a clear and present danger to the nation. Further, they primed their frames by drawing on communal values that under-gird traditional society in Malawi. The BNL newspapers‟ established market position meant that the Unity Frame was magnified for newspaper readers. The majority numbers achieved by the MCP/AFORD alliance in parliament meant that they were able to magnify the same frame in the National Assembly. The UDF, and the Nation and the Chronicle found it difficult to magnify their preferred frame, the Governance Frame. It was de-emphasized due to lack of numbers in parliament, and on the newspapers market because of the Nation and the Chronicle‟s inferior circulation numbers on the newspapers market. It was a frame that drew on the new but prevailing values of democracy, openness and human rights. 4.4 Two Frames Unique to Each Corpus The preceding sections have highlighted two types of frames that are common across the newspapers/parliamentary corpora. The following discussion will focus on two frames that are distinctive to the newspapers corpus and the parliamentary corpus respectively. These are the Leadership Frame in the newspapers corpus and the Failed Government Frame in the parliamentary corpus (See Tables 4.1 and 4.2). The analysis of the two frames will be done on an individual basis because they are distinct from each other in nature apart from appearing in different corpora. The subsequent sub- sections discuss two frames. One was unique to the newspapers corpus, and the other

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