Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who lost the presidential election against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has stated that “life goes on” after the loss.
Kılıçdaroğlu told TV100 journalists Barış Yarkadaş and Gürkan Hacır that they believed in winning the presidential election “100 percent.” The 74-year-old leader lost the election against Erdoğan by receiving 47.82 percent of the votes in the second round of the election on May 28.
“When we didn't win, it caused a serious trauma. We all felt this trauma in one way or another, including myself. There was frustration caused by an expectation not being met or a failure to come true, but it is not right to make this frustration chronic. It happens, life goes on. It flows like a river,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“I came very close to the target but could not reach it. The river is flowing and you have to swim in that river and cross it without making the frustration chronic. In other words, by highlighting the many advantages we have gained, we can give morale to the public.. We didn't just compete with Erdoğan. We competed against the state. The governor, the district governor, the gendarmerie commander, all the ministers. Our deputies were battered at the ballot box,” he added.
Aside from the presidential election, the CHP received 25.41 percent of the votes in the May 14 parliamentary elections, falling short of expectations, ending up having 169 seats in the parliament out of 600 while leaving the majority to the ruling alliance. 39 deputies out of 169 were from other alliance parties, initiating the criticisms against Kılıçdaroğlu for allocating “too many” seats for “small” and “ineffective” parties.
Although there is a strong consensus for a need for change for CHP leadership, Kılıçdaroğlu has not shown any willingness in this regard. On July 4, Kılıçdaroğlu said that his presidential loss to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could not be named as a failure and that it would not matter if he was the CHP’s leader or not.
CHP Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu on various occasions stated that radical change is needed within the party without openly naming Kılıçdaroğlu.