Editorial — 12 February 2013

About two or three weeks before the UDP Lake Independence area representative’s meltdown at the Corozal border casino last week, there had been street reports of his having had an after hours altercation with one Raindrops Swan. The indications are that Mark King was a man looking for trouble, and trouble found him.

In hindsight, you have to ask yourself the questions: who is Mark King, where did he come from, who sponsored him, and does he have any serious core beliefs where Belize’s development is concerned?

The answers to the first two questions are fairly straightforward. King is a former Belize Defence Force officer who resigned his commission. He comes from Ladyville. He came from Ladyville to enter UDP politics in 2006.

In answer to the third question, ask yourself who was running Ladyville in 2006, then you will understand why Mark King was sponsored and sent to Lake Independence, Cordel Hyde’s constituency.

The answer to the fourth question is that there is absolutely no evidence that Mark King has any serious core beliefs where Belize’s development is concerned. He is a politician who chose to ride the United Democratic Party vehicle, and his ride has been a successful one. You don’t have to know much or believe much to be successful in Belize’s party politics. What you have to do is wave the flag and chant the slogans. And, you must be acceptable to the big people who finance the political parties.

Mark King is acceptable to the big people. Over a period of time the big people here have used their money to move freely across party lines. A party in power can target one of its own area representatives if the big people become unhappy with that representative. You saw what the UDP did to Marcel Cardona. More than two decades ago, you saw what the PUDP did to Derek Aikman. And this is what a faction of the PUP were planning to do to Cordel Hyde.

Mark King was blessed and anointed from on high, and the result is now plain for all to see. He became swell-headed and got out of control. He was in what the old people call, “hog heaven and wishwillie glory,” Jack. King developed a feeling of entitlement. He forgot how lucky he was to get elected to the House of Representatives in the first place.

King won the Lake I seat last March when someone big in the PUP fell in love with Yolanda Galvez Schakron. Everybody in Lake knew, once Cordel withdrew from the race, that Carlos Diaz was the next best PUP candidate. But Yolanda was a media darling, and the word came from Independence Hall: it must be Galvez Schakron. When Yolanda was disqualified on Nomination Day because of nationality issues, it turned out that Independence Hall loved the Galvez family more than they loved Carlos. They brought in Yolanda’s brother, Martin Galvez, and boxed out Carlos again. Galvez lost, and King won, by almost exactly the margin of the Lake I voters who stubbornly voted for Diaz, after he stubbornly ran as an independent candidate. Mark King was a blessed man, then he was a lucky man. Now, he has proven himself to be a reckless one.

You know all the while this newspaper has never had word to say about Mark King. We think we know who are the people who were pulling his strings, but we have always cut this gentleman a great deal of slack. It’s Belize’s politics, you know. PUDP all the way!

Mark King is still a man with a charmed political life, if you think about it. The UDP have such a narrow margin in the House that they have to handle King with kid gloves. Lucky for him, not so lucky for Belize.

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