Thousands of people in the Haitian capital have demonstrated in support of presidential candidate Rene Preval.

As election workers continued to tally votes in the close race, demonstrators gathered outside the election commission, with some demanding Preval be declared the winner.

But election officials said Saturday that the former president has just over 49 percent of the vote, with about three-quarters of the ballots counted. He needs to win a majority for an outright victory.

Another former president, Leslie Manigat, is second with 12 percent.

International observers say the election was free and fair and have urged Haitians to respect the outcome.

But candidate Charles Baker, who has about eight percent of the vote, has called for an investigation into reports of people voting multiple times.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.