At a time when the united opposition continues to protest against the government, the National Security Commission approved changes to the penal code in principle with 8 votes in favor and 2 against.

The draft proposed the toughening of penalties for blocking roads or aggression towards police officers while in the line of duty.

The changes proposed by MPs of the majority come at a time when the opposition has held a number of protests against the government, marred by the blocking of major road axes and physical collisions with police effectives.

The new opposition MPs voted against the changes to the Penal Code, suggesting that such amendments should come into force after the elections, not earlier as requested by the majority.

“Why do we need to make changes to the Penal code now when a group of MPs are working on creating a new Penal Code. I expect to have further toughening of penal offenses,” said DP MP, Myslim Murrizi.

The head of the Law Commission, Ulsi Manja, said that these changes are incidental and have no connection with the elections, while reconfirming that said elections will be held on June 30.

“These changes have nothing to do with the June 30th elections. It's coincidence. If they are approved before June 30, they will help to guarantee a fair election process. In any case, the vote will take place on 30 June. There will be no clash or conflict.”

Changes to the Penal Code were proposed by 12 MPs of the Socialist Party and, apart from increasing the sentences for blocking the streets and for strikes against police or state officials, the amendments also affect punishment for environmental crime, alongside a series of other articles.