|File: Louis Lee Sing. "If you are not performing, don’t expect me to tell you, you are performing,”|
The showdown would come next year at the PNM's leadership convention when members of the party would elect their leader in a one-member-one-vote system for the first time.
Rowley convinced the party to change the delegate system of election shortly after he became leader, ostensibly to allow greater democracy in the party. By giving each member a free choice he had hoped that there would be no manipulation and rigging as is common in such a system.
In an interview with Ria Taitt, Lee Sing said his primary focus is to get the party back to government. He added that his motive is the same as and "all the real patriots in the PNM”.
The mayor of Port of Spain told the paper, "The question is this: are we now being served in such a way that we can feel comfortable in our minds that we are on the road to regaining Whitehall (office)?" He questioned if the party has the kind of leadership that is required "to do that in this volatile and dynamic political environment.”
Lee Sing said he is not convinced that the present leadership has demonstrated the desire, the organisational skills or the dedication and commitment required to get the nPNM back in government.
He dismissed the view that now is not the time to talk about the leadership. "I don’t want the PNM ever to enter Whitehall and find itself rehearsing as, indeed, the present Government has found itself,” he told the Express.
He said after battling the issue for two years he can no longer remain silent so he has taken a decision to ensure that the PNM wins the next general election.
Lee Sing explained that at least 10 persons share his sentiments and are willing to run for the political leadership. He suggested that some of them are not committed enough, noting that Pennelope Beckles has said she might consider running for the leadership if the position is vacant.
Lee sign noted that Beckles has also said she would only run if she has enough encouragement and support, and if her chances are good.
Lee Sing said leaders must listen to the rank and file. "You cannot take a position that you are not convening meetings because you are not talking to anyone who is not listening to you,” he stated, noting that Rowley does not want criticism. "If you are not performing, don’t expect me to tell you, you are performing,” Lee Sing added.
"Dr Rowley once talked about court-martialling Mr Manning. I think he must understand that at this time that both he and myself could be court-martialled. And, therefore, both he and I have a responsibility to ensure that the PNM gets its act to order and sail on smoothly,” Lee Sing said.
He has a message for his leader. "All I want you to do is to do the job we expect you to do, do it well and take us back to Whitehall. If you can’t do the job, don’t ask for it,” he said.