Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Sept. 17 stated that they could not explain themselves enough during the election period, leading to his and CHP’s defeat.
Speaking at the member participation ceremony of the CHP Istanbul Provincial Office, Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the Education Ministry’s move to remove the practice of giving one free meal to students and said “Millions of our children started school. Of course the state saves, of course it should not be wasteful. But you can't save from a children's meal.”
“They cut off their one meal. What savings will you make from feeding millions of children a meal? If you are going to save money, do it from the (Presidential) palace!,” he added.
“We made a mistake. Let me express it frankly. We could not convey these to the people. We couldn't say it enough. We could not knock on the doors of enough citizens. We didn't listen to their problems. We could not adequately explain how we would solve their problems. Therefore, we have a historical duty. We have to listen to the problems of the person who has a problem. We have to convey to them the solutions we have produced,” Kılıçdaroğlu told new CHP members.
Kılıçdaroğlu lost the presidential election against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by receiving 47.82 percent of the votes in the second round of the race on May 28.
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.