Prominent leader of German nationalist party to step down

FILE - In this March 13, 2016 Andre Poggenburg, top candidate of the right-populist AfD party, smiles after the closing of the state elections in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt in Magdeburg, eastern Germany. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)

BERLIN - A prominent member of the nationalist Alternative for Germany, or AfD, will resign from his party posts following several controversial and anti-Muslim remarks about migrants.

The party board of the AfD in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt said in a statement Thursday Andre Poggenburg will step down both as the party's state leader and as head of the party's faction in state parliament.

The 42-year-old made headlines last month, when he insulted Turks as "camel drivers" and immigrants with dual passports as a "homeless mob we no longer want to have."

Poggenburg said his resignation was supposed to take "pressure from the party," which has come under criticism for its anti-migrant stance.

AfD came in as the third-strongest party in Germany's national election in September, and is represented in several state parliaments.


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