Apologizing for their party's crushing defeat in Wednesday's by-elections, the co-leaders of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy have stepped aside after just four months at the helm.
"I take all the responsibility and will resign as party co-leader. I will work to make sure our party carries out major reforms to regain the public's trust."
(" . .")
Former independent presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo, who had ascended to party leadership after merging with the main opposition Democratic Party in March, said he too, would do his best for the good of the party as an ordinary member.
All other members of the party's supreme council followed their co-leaders out the door, claiming responsibility for the election loss.
The leaders had been heavily criticized for causing friction during the nomination process, and thereby lowering the party's chances of a good showing in the poll.
Floor leader Park Young-sun now assumes temporary leadership of the party.
She, along with an emergency committee, will seek ways to help the party rise from the ashes and elect a new leader.
Different factions within the party are expected to elbow for position in the process.
The one who's likely to be most affected, however, is Ahn Cheol-soo.
Once considered a political sensation and a presidential hopeful, Ahn missed out on a valuable chance Wednesday to prove his reform-minded leadership in the party.
And on Thursday, a big-wig within the opposition bloc, Sohn Hak-kyu, who lost his seat in the capital region to a ruling party newcomer, announced his retirement from politics.
Sohn was considered a potential presidential candidate and his retirement is expected to affect the dynamics of the opposition's next presidential campaign.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.