Hartung said he saw two "irreconcilable streams in the Af D" and what he called a "witch hunt against independent thinkers." However, he also said that he would "naturally" remain a member of the party despite quitting his higher office.
Alternative for Germany (Af D) co-chair Frauke Petry has said she'll leave the party — without specifying when.
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On Wednesday, the Bundestag's website listed Petry as an independent ( in German) member of parliament.
Directly-elected politicians in Germany are at liberty to change party affiliation without giving up their seats.
Domain name 'dieblauen.de' fuels speculation The German news agency dpa quoted Petry on Wednesday as saying a web address "dieblauen.de" (translating as "the Blues" in German) was registered in her name.
However, Petry told dpa that the term "Blues" was an idea, not necessarily a party name, and that she would comment further on this in due course.
() Germany's anti-immigrant Af D party has picked nationalist Alexander Gauland and economist Alice Weidel as its top candidates for Germany's federal election. () Petry, ex-co-chair of the far-right Af D, plans to form a new grouping at regional and federal levels.
Petry, who quit the party after its election upswing last week, also worked to distance herself from Islamophobia.
() The Christian Social Union (CSU) was one of many old German parties to suffer at the hands of the Af D in the election.