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Thai elections peaceful, but crisis far from over

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 2, 2014 at 1:08 p.m.

anti-government-protesters-clap-hands-as-thai-policemen-walk-in-to-take-position-between-pro-and-anti-elections-group-at-dindaeng-district-office-in-bangkok-thailand-sunday-feb-2-2014-thailands-tense-national-election-got-underway-sunday-with-protesters-forcing-the-closure-of-several-polling-stations-in-the-capital-amid-fears-of-more-bloodshed-a-day-after-gun-battles-in-bangkok-left-seven-people-wounded-ap-photoapichart-weerawong

Anti-government protesters clap hands as Thai policemen walk in to take position between pro and anti elections group at Dindaeng district office in Bangkok, Thailand Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. Thailand's tense national election got underway Sunday with protesters forcing the closure of several polling stations in the capital amid fears of more bloodshed a day after gun battles in Bangkok left seven people wounded. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

BANGKOK — Thailand held nationwide elections without bloodshed Sunday despite widespread fears of violence. But the country's bitter political crisis is far from over, and one of the next flash points is likely to be an effort to nullify the vote.

Although balloting was largely peaceful, protesters forced thousands of polling booths to close in Bangkok and the south, disenfranchising millions of registered voters. Not all Parliament seats will be filled as a result, meaning the nation could stay mired in political limbo for months with the winning party unable to form a new government.

The struggle to hold the vote was part of a 3-month-old conflict that has split the country between supporters of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and protesters who allege her government is too corrupt to rule.

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