Romania’s new leadership is facing growing pressure after one of the country’s largest ever anti-government protests over a decree to free dozens of officials jailed for corruption.

The president said he would challenge the government’s decree in court, while the business minister has resigned over the measure.

The justice minister, who introduced the decree, has temporarily stood down.

Some 200,000 people took to the streets around Romania in protest on Wednesday.

The largest protests since the fall of communism in 1989, the march in Bucharest ended in clashes between alleged football hooligans and the police, leaving eight wounded.

The leftist government, led by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), only returned to power in December after protests forced the previous leadership from power in October 2015.

What do we know about the decree?

The emergency decree was brought in on Tuesday and comes into effect in 10 days.

It decriminalises several offences and makes abuse of power punishable by incarceration only if the sums involved are more than €44,000 (£38,000; $48,000).

The new government says the decree is needed to ease overcrowding in prisons but Mr Grindeanu’s critics say he is trying to release allies convicted of corruption.

One immediate beneficiary would be the PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea, who faces charges of defrauding the state of €24,000.

Others due for release include elected officials and magistrates.

Mr Dragnea, 54, has become a focal figure for the protesters and is already barred from office because of an earlier suspended jail sentence for voter fraud.

The decree was drawn up by Justice Minister Florin Iordache. Romanian media reported on Thursday that he had handed over his duties to his deputy until 7 February.

A spokeswoman told the national Agerpres news agency that it was because he had a heavy workload preparing for this year’s budget, though some speculate that he is attempting to distance himself from enforcing the measure.