A former leader of German group anti-Islam group PEGIDA says she's starting a new organization to campaign for more referendums in politics.

Kathrin Oertel said Monday that she and several others are founding "Direct Democracy for Europe," which she said would stand for conservative values and position itself to the right of Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union.

Oertel, who resigned from the group Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of Europe last week with several other leaders, said the new group would not attempt to compete with PEGIDA, and would hold rallies on different days.

PEGIDA's leadership has been struggling since co-founder Lutz Bachmann quit two weeks ago after online posts surfaced in which he used derogatory language to refer to refugees and posed looking like Adolf Hitler.