Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon decided not to run in the presidential election after the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea fixed its rule to pick its presidential candidate Thursday.
Park has been cited as one of the potential candidates for the next presidential election.
"Although I am withdrawing my candidacy, I will give my all for the change of government to reflect the people's desire as a member of the Democratic Party," Park said in a statement.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon
"I will focus on citizens. As the mayor of Seoul, I plan to make it the world's best global city, which is safe and where citizens are happy," Park added. The mayor also apologized to his supporters.
Park's aides said the decision is related to his falling approval rating.
According to a poll conducted by RealMeter last week, Park's approval rating came to 3.4 percent, hovering far below other liberal contenders.
Moon Jae-in, former head of the main opposition, led the survey at 29.1 percent. Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung from the same party stood at 10.2 percent. (firstname.lastname@example.org