By Lamine Chikhi and Patrick Markey ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika looked set to win a fourth term with allies claiming victory in an election on Thursday, despite questions over his health and his rare appearances since suffering a stroke in 2013. Official results were due on Friday, but Bouteflika's camp claimed the independence veteran backed by the dominant National Liberation Front (FLN) party had succeeded in securing five more years at the helm of the North African OPEC state. The 77-year-old Bouteflika, who has appeared in public only a few times since his stroke, earlier voted in Algiers while sitting in a wheelchair. He gave no statement and only briefly shook hands with supporters before leaving. "Our candidate is the winner," Abdelaziz Belkhadem, Bouteflika's personal representative, told Reuters without giving any details. "Without any doubt, Bouteflika got a landslide victory."Ali Benflis, Bouteflika's main rival in a field of opposition candidates struggling to challenge him, quickly rejected the election results because of fraud but did not cite any specific accusations. "I do not recognise these results, I condemn this fraud," he said soon after the closing of the polls. Algeria under Bouteflika has been seen as a partner in Washington's campaign against Islamist militancy in the Maghreb and a stable supplier of about a fifth of Europe's gas imports. But concerns about Bouteflika's condition and how Algeria manages any transition have raised questions about stability in a region where neighbouring Libya, Tunisia and Egypt are still in turmoil after the Arab Spring revolts of 2011. Loyalists portray Bouteflika as the man who helped stabilise Algeria after a war with Islamist militants in the 1990s that killed around 200,000 people. But several opposition parties have boycotted the vote - including rivals the Islamist MSP and secular RCD - saying it is slanted in Bouteflika's favour and unlikely to bring reforms to a system little changed since independence from France in 1962. Bouteflika, a veteran of Algeria's war of independence, won the 2009 election with 90 percent of the vote. In 2004, Benflis lost to Bouteflika in a ballot he said was tainted by fraud on an "industrial" scale. "No country is 100 percent good, but the things he has done, he has done well," said Abdessaid Said, a retired technician who voted for Bouteflika in Algiers' Bab El Oued district. "I know he is ill, but I vote for him for what he has done for us. And he can still govern." Voting passed mostly peacefully, but in two villages east of Algiers, gendarmerie troops fired tear gas and clashed with youths who tried to disrupt voting, local officials said. Several ballot boxes were burned in the area, which is a stronghold of an opposition party boycotting the election and also a mostly ethnic Berber-speaking region that sees sporadic clashes with authorities. Police on Wednesday broke up a small rally by an anti-government movement called "Barakat", or "Enough", which is calling for peaceful change with rare public protests. CALLS FOR REFORM Since the stroke that put him in a Paris hospital for three months, Bouteflika has appeared only a few times in public, usually when speaking with visiting dignitaries. He did not campaign, though allies say he is well enough to govern. Opposition leaders say it is time for him to make good on promises to hand over to a new generation of leaders, tackle corruption and open up an economy hampered by restrictions dating back to Algeria's post-independence socialism. Many Algerians say that since independence, their politics has been controlled by a cabal of FLN elites and army generals who, while competing behind the scenes for influence, see themselves as guarantors of stability. Bouteflika's allies have tried to strengthen his position by reducing the influence of the powerful military intelligence chief, who for years played the role of kingmaker. Still, analysts say, political rivalries may resurface if Bouteflika's health ebbs during a fourth term. His allies are promising constitutional amendments to open up a system that critics say has resisted reform since the old guard of FLN chieftains won independence from France. But many younger Algerians say they feel disconnected with their country's political leadership. "I have decided not to vote because I'm fed up with promises," said Ahmed Djemi, drinking coffee in Bab El Oued district, complaining that he has been waiting for years to get an apartment. Riots and protests over services, housing and food costs have erupted, but the opposition remains divided and unable to challenge the dominance of the FLN, its allies and unions. The state has built up huge foreign reserves from its energy sales - around $200 billion - and has spent heavily on subsidies and social programmes to ward off Arab Spring-style protests. Analysts say the country needs reforms to overhaul an economy hampered by restrictions on foreign investment and to attract more heavyweight petroleum players to boost stagnating oil and gas production. (Additional reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed and Lamine Chikhi; Editing by Tom Heneghan and Ken Wills)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
View this post on Instagram A post shared by DUA LIPA (@dualipa) Dua Lipa's latest outfit begs the question . .
- NBC Sports Washington
Umpire Tim Timmons heard enough from the Orioles grounds crew, kicking them off the field during the final inning Wednesday night.
- The Week
Why is Trump the only ex-president willing to say the truth about Bush?
This is a very precarious situation.
Petito family says her boyfriend 'left Gabby in the wilderness with grizzly bears and wolves while he sits in the comfort of his home' as their daughter is missing
"Brian, how could you do this to Gabby? You selfishly remain silent while Gabby is all alone in the wilderness," Petito's family said in a statement.
Republicans aren't really scared of them, said the "Full Frontal" host.
- MMA Junkie
Jake Paul makes another play at fighting Jorge Masvidal and asks Dana White, "Why you so scared to get embarrassed?"
- Motley Fool
Retirement savings statistics usually highlight how badly people are doing at preparing for their future, but one stat in Transamerica's latest retirement survey bucks this trend: Approximately 30% of households have saved $250,000 or more for retirement already. Most of us can fortunately count upon Social Security to help us with some of our retirement costs so we don't have to rely solely upon our personal savings. Most people will need $1 million or more to retire comfortably, but the only way to know what you'll need is to put together a retirement plan that takes your health and lifestyle into account.
Teen US Open breakout star Leylah Fernandez wore a Met Gala dress inspired by tennis royalty - Venus and Serena Williams
Venus and Serena Williams wore similar dresses from the same designer - Carolina Herrera - for a 1998 Vogue photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz.
- The Daily Beast
YouTubeThe boyfriend of a 22-year-old woman who vanished in Wyoming last month while the couple was on a road trip together released a statement Tuesday, breaking his silence as he reportedly refuses to speak to her family or the police. Brian Laundrie, 23, and Gabrielle Petito had been on a cross-country trek together in a white 2012 Ford Transit Connect, documenting their “van life” via a shared YouTube channel. Police in Moab, Utah, told Fox that they had responded to an incident involving th
- Business Insider
Trump was fixated on the Navy's new supercarrier and ranted to military leaders that the ship 'just doesn't look right': book
"I have an eye for aesthetics," President Donald Trump said while ruffling his hair, according to Woodward and Costa's new book. "Can't you tell?"
- Good Housekeeping
Whew, that's a BOLD look.
- The Telegraph
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have posed together for their first magazine cover shoot, groomed to near-flawlessness by Hollywood’s finest stylists for a celebration of them as “equal partners”.
Justin and Hailey Bieber looked stunning on the Met Gala red carpet, especially that jeweled Saint Laurent gown! But it’s not their elegant appearance that is making waves in the news, it’s one particular moment, when the couple was posing for the photographers, that has fans questioning on social media whether the model is pregnant […]
- The Telegraph
Brooks Koepka should pull out of Ryder Cup and give spot to someone who would love to play, says Paul Azinger
Paul Azinger, one of only two US captains to have won the Ryder Cup this century, has told Brooks Koepka that he should pull out of next week’s match and “give up his place to someone who would love to play”.
- Scary Mommy
Earlier this month, a twelve-year-old boy in Kerala’s Kozhikode district in India died from the Nipah virus, a virus that most people probably never heard of. A virus that, according to experts, has the potential to become another global pandemic with a significantly higher death toll. Approximately 70 percent of people who are infected with 
There will be plenty of overreaction after a wild Week 1. It's the perfect time to take advantage of some panic by opposing fantasy managers.
- Miami Herald
In an instant, a photographer caught a terrifyingly rare sight: a shark attacking a surfer off the Florida coast last week.
- Business Insider
Caitlyn Jenner says she 'can't believe' voters kept Newsom in office after receiving only about 1% of the vote in the California recall election
"I can't believe that this many people actually voted to keep him in office," she said, adding: "It's a shame. You kind of get the government you deserve."
- Martha Stewart Living
The acetate solution can help those living with osteoporosis.