Nam Jae-joon, a minor presidential candidate who formerly served as the head of the National Intelligence Service, has decided to drop out of the race and declare support for Hong Joon-pyo of the conservative Liberty Korea Party, a person close to Nam said Saturday.
"Nam tendered a letter of withdrawal (from the presidential race) today," the person told Yonhap News by phone.
"He has made the decision in order to prevent pro-North Korean leftist forces from taking power and help the conservatives win the presidency," the person said.
Nam was the first spy chief in the administration of former President Park Geun-hye.
With Nam's withdrawal, the number of candidates running for the May 9 presidential election is reduced to 13. (Yonhap)