Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Wednesday, 2 June 2010 12:14 UK

Ayad Allawi: sectarianism could lead to 'severe violence' in Iraq

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At the March elections in Iraq Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya party won the largest share of the vote.

But no single party won an outright majority and the current Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki has joined with the Iraqi National Alliance in an attempt to stay in power.

This would thwart Ayad Allawi's attempt to again be Prime Minister after he briefly held the office from 2004 to 2005.

Mr Allawi says the political power vacuum could worsen the sectarian divisions in Iraq leading to more violence and even a "sectarian war."

You can watch HARDtalk on Wednesday 2nd June on the BBC News Channel at 0230, 0430 and 2330 BST and on BBC World News at 0330, 0830, 1530 and 1930 GMT.

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