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

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

121 In the moral

121 In the moral evaluation component, the BNL newspapers used four paragraphs to declare that Muluzi and his team were divisive and unethical. Muluzi was portrayed as lacking in national appeal and uninterested in achieving the same (See Table 4.14). The writer of an editorial in the Daily Times (1994h, p.2) argued: . . . the concept of power is being defined as the state president‟s accountable only to his party and its supporters. The question of his national figure is cosmetic, and so are those vows to uphold the interests of every citizen regardless of which party he belongs to. Then whose president is he? 4.4.1.2 The Leadership Frame in the Nation and the Chronicle As noted above, the Nation and the Chronicle only offered 14 paragraphs in this frame. All of them can be viewed as counter-arguments against the BNL newspapers negative assessment of the country‟s new leaders. In eight paragraphs, the two newspapers lauded the new president and his team as democratic (See Table 4.15). Further, in six paragraphs, the Nation was convinced that the new president and his team were humble and popular. Table 4.15: Leadership Frame in the Nation and the Chronicle Moral Evaluations Presenters Paragraphs Articles The President and his team are Nation and 8 (44.4%) 7 democratic Chronicle The new president is humble and Nation and 6 (33.3%) 6 popular Chronicle Total 14 (100%) 13 Commenting on the new president‟s inaugural speech the writer of an editorial in the Nation (1994b, p.4) noted:

122 President Bakili Muluzi, who rides on a tidal wave of populism, has begun his presidency on a refreshing note. . . . Mr. Muluzi also issued his directive to commute all death sentences to life imprisonment, but knew how far his presidential prerogative goes . . . . Thus, the Chronicle and the Nation took a distinctly different position from the one taken by the BNL newspapers on the new leadership in Malawi. While the BNL newspapers tended to denigrate the new leadership, the Chronicle and the Nation viewed them as the right leaders for the country. In this respect, these newspapers tended to build up the image of the leaders in their editorials. 4.4.2 Failed Government Frame Due to overlaps inherent in both defining the problem and the contributory agents of the problems, the problem definition and causal interpretation components are combined. Further, the frame lacked in treatment recommendations. The frame had 30 paragraphs drawn from 30 speeches coded to it. Of these, 17 were coded in the Problem Definition/Causal Interpretation component. The remaining 13 were coded to the moral evaluation component (See Table 4.2). 4.3.2.1 Failed Government Frame by the UDF and AFORD This frame, whose problem definitions and causal interpretations are presented in Table 4.16, was mainly presented by the UDF MPs. This frame, which assessed the state of the country in economic and social development terms, had to look backwards in order to make that assessment. The frame reveals unrestrained criticism of the MCP regime.

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