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

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

199 former president

199 former president Bakili Muluzi were simply a logical outcome of the causal attribution of these challenges. 6.4 Other Frames The Electoral Process Frame was unique to the newspapers corpus just as the Rejected Government Frame was unique to the parliamentary corpus. The Electoral Process Frame was mainly a complaint against the MEC‟s management of the election which brought President Mutharika to power. In this respect, this frame was similar to the Electoral Process Frame in the 1999 case study. However, the complaints in the 2004 frame were not as strident as in the 1999 case study. Due to overlaps, the Electoral Process Frame combined the problem descriptions and causal attributions to form one combined component. Further, the moral evaluations and the solutions were combined into one component as well. The combined Problem Definition and Causal Interpretation component consisted of 18 paragraphs out of the 36 coded to this frame. The combined Moral Evaluation/Treatment Recommendation component had 18 of these 36 paragraphs. The frame was drawn from 11 articles out of the 69 in the corpus (See Table 6.2). The Failed Government Frame consisted of coded paragraphs in this corpus that advanced reasons for the reduction of the UDF‟s MPs in the National Assembly. The frame was mainly advanced by the new majority party, the MCP, who argued that the electorate had basically rejected the UDF government by effectively reducing its MPs in parliamentary. Further, the frame was intended to impeach the legitimacy of President Mutharika‟s authority because he had been carried into office by just 35.1% of the votes cast in the 2004 election.

200 The frame had 42 paragraphs coded to it drawn from 24 of the 65 speeches in this corpus. It had two components. Due to overlaps in the problem definitions and causal attributions, one component combining all of these was formed. There were no treatment recommendations as the frame, by its very nature, did not lend itself amenable for treatment recommendations. Of the 42 paragraphs in the frame, 10 were coded to the combined problem definition/causal interpretation component. The remaining 22 were coded to the moral evaluation component (See Table 6.2). This is to be expected as the frame was mainly accusatory and condemnatory against the previous UDF government. 6.4.1 Electoral Process Frame The MEC‟s mismanagement of the elections was the central narrative in this component. The newspapers charged that the MEC had again, as in 1999, mismanaged the election. There were 11 paragraphs coded to this aspect of the problem definition/causal interpretation (See Table 6.10). In fact, the newspapers accused the MEC of absolute incompetence. The Malawi News (2004d, p.2) noted disparagingly of the MEC: “. . . it was as if all along the Electoral Commission did not know about the polls.” The newspapers accused the MEC of not only mismanaging the elections but also complicity in defrauding the opposition. The „first past the post‟ issue was also a significant part of the narrative on the problem in this frame. There were seven paragraphs coded to this aspect of the problem definition (See Table 6.10). In short, the Constitution and the conduct of the elections were blamed for the emergence of a minority government in the country. McDonald Bamusi (2004, p.6) argued that Malawi was an “exceptional case where the minority rule the majority” among nations which practice democracy.

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