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NOT ABANDONING CANDIDACY, PERUVIAN SAYS

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Novelist Mario Vargas Llosa announced he would pursue the presidency, laying to rest rumors that he would resign his candidacy after nearly losing to newcomer Alberto Fujimori in the first round of balloting.

"I will go to the second round to continue to fight for the reforms that our country needs, with full conviction and without cheating the millions of compatriots who voted for us," said Vargas Llosa, 54.The author finished neck-and-neck with Fujimori, 51, in general elections April 8, and the two candidates will face each other in a runoff in late May or early June.