in: Trends in Southeast Asia, 2017 no. 21
Political parties in Indonesia's Kepri (Kepulauan Riau, or Riau Islands) Province suffer from low organizational capacity. The set-up of their branch offices is barely adequate, with cadres and volunteers acting as the main administrators, while activities, funding and recruitment remain erratic, insufficient and disorganized. Rather uniquely, the province's capital Tanjungpinang is not its commercial centre, resulting in discrepancies in the organizational priorities of political parties present there. Instead, it is Batam, the commercial capital, that receives greater attention and is more attractive as a location for crowd-intensive events. Electoral trends and the parties' lack of organizational capacity have allowed for local figures to exercise greater influence, particularly during elections. In contrast, the parties themselves take a back seat during elections while their ground teams take charge. The parties' organizational incapacity in Kepri Province also translates into failure at the local level, and not much change can be expected in the near future.