The chairman of South Korea's ruling People Power Party, Lee Jun-seok, who's been suspended and is about to officially lose his post, held a press conference on Saturday in which he denounced to move to unseat him.
He says there are elements in the party trying to oust him by blaming him for the party's declining approval ratings.
Lee Kyung-eun has the details.
The ruling People Power Party's Chairman Lee Jun-seok once again criticized what he calls the party's "undemocratic procedure" to switch to an emergency leadership system which essentially blocks him from returning to his post.
And this time, he did itin his first public appearance following his suspension over a sexual bribery allegation in July.
"It is certainly unfair to nullify the party's own rules just to oust a person and left a shameful history in the country's politics."
The chairman added that all this is orchestrated by several PPP lawmakers -- who claim to be key allies of President Yoon Suk-yeol to blame the wrong person -- him -- for the party's dipping approval ratings that were accelerated by the leakage of the controversial private text message between the floor leader and acting chair Kweon Seong-dong and the President.
Lee said the President is partially responsible too.
"If a text between a President and a floor leader sparks controversy that implies a state of crisis not just for the party but also for the president's leadership."
Lee said he would fight those particular senior officials "to the end."
And he urged them to run for the next general elections in the places where the conservative party does not have a solid supporter base so they can face a real assessment.
In the meantime, Lee ruled out the previous speculation that he could launch his own party. Instead, he expressed sincere affection for the party he has been holding on to even after the suspension, while meeting party members, which brought tears to his eyes.
"I briefly get into a moment of happiness looking at pictures sent by members signing up for the party, asking me to do the politics they want"
He says he will continue meeting party members in the coming days while waiting for the court's decision on the injunction he filed against the party.
The PPP is poised to officially launch its emergency leadership by early next week after completing its formation.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.