Social media comments continue to dog ranks of United Conservative candidates

Eva Kiryakos was running in Calgary-South East in the April 16 vote

Eva Kiryakos is seen in this photo from her campaign Facebook page. Another United Conservative Party candidate is pulling out of the Alberta election, saying someone outside the party is threatening to release her past social media comments about Muslim refugees and transgender washrooms in provincial schools. Eva Kiryakos, who was running in Calgary-South East in the April 16 vote, announced her resignation in a Facebook statement and video released Sunday night. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Facebook)

Another United Conservative Party candidate who has pulled out of the Alberta election says someone outside the party is threatening to release her past social media comments about Muslim refugees and transgender washrooms in schools.

Eva Kiryakos, who was running in Calgary-South East in the April 16 vote, announced her resignation in a Facebook statement and video released Sunday night.

Kiryakos said she’s been getting threats from someone who wants to release images of things she has said or commented on.

“Someone outside of our party has been threatening to smear me, and I have had enough of the bullies and the threats,” she said in the statement. “This is who I am and I will keep speaking up — for myself and for Albertans.”

READ MORE: Here are five political leaders campaigning in Alberta’s spring election

In one of the online exchanges, Kiryakos retweeted an article about Germany’s alleged migrant rape crisis called “Rapefugees Not Welcome.”

She said in her statement that everyone retweets and shares articles.

“I admit the image on the article isn’t positive,” she said. ”But the article was on women getting raped and the crisis there. When women are being assaulted, I care, no matter the faiths or the backgrounds of the people.”

In another post, Kiryakos wrote about transgender washrooms in Alberta schools. “I should have the right to choose for my children to not be brainwashed into accepting perversions as ‘alternative lifestyles.’”

In her statement, she said she was concerned for her daughter’s safety and voiced her honest opinion.

“It’s OK to disagree.”

The UCP has not commented on her resignation.

Kiryakos, a lawyer and mother of two, said she is a refugee who came to Canada as a child with her parents after they fled persecution for their Christian faith in Iraq. She said she was raised in Saskatchewan and taught to speak up and practise her right to freedom of speech.

Last week, Calgary UCP candidate Caylan Ford stepped down after publication of a private 2017 Facebook conversation in which she allegedly spoke about the replacement of white people in their homelands and the collapse of western culture.

Ford has degrees from three universities, including Oxford, and once worked as a policy adviser for what is now Global Affairs Canada under the Harper government. She was considered a star candidate.

The Canadian Press

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