While being worried, Sevan was hustling around as he was given permission to mobilize the secret police.
It was natural because he was the Secretary of Interior who was the final decision maker above the Commissioner-General.
“See? He’s given justification and now he’s running wild.”
Youngho wanted to summon and warn Sevan directly, but he was waiting because he did not want the royal family to be rumored as interfering with Azerbaijan’s domestic affairs too much.
Park Jong-il denied Youngho’s remark.
“He’s doing fine so far. What are you worried about? His force is intimidating, but it’s not exerting any physical restrictions on politicians. I think Sevan is playing it smart. Who will resist when the police are just following politicians around to watch for illegal campaign activities? It’s not like their activities are interrupted.”
Sevan was subtly disturbing anti-government politicians’ activities to deal with anti-government forces.
The police inspected all politicians regardless of their political parties under the pretext of preventing rigged election.
“I think he’s too obviously supporting the politicians who support the royal family and the current regime. Don’t you think the other politicians will notice that?”
“It’s the royal family that has power. If they support us, don’t you think we should return their favor? There’s nothing wrong with helping them a little bit. Should we do some intelligence maneuvering, too?”
“Oh, come on. If people find out that the royal family intervened in the domestic political circle, we’ll be in trouble.”
Although Youngho did not approve, Park Jong-il insisted.
“Azerbaijan is in a transitional period where true democracy is just taking place. We need to stabilize the political situation first. I’ll be responsible for it and talk to Sevan. Even if there’s a problem in the future, I’ll make sure that the royal family will stay out of it. The advance of the politicians in the opposing party is too outstanding.”
Park Jong-il insisted that Azerbaijan could not be left in the hands of the politicians who were opposed to the royal family as the country’s economy was just being stabilized after the end of long dictatorship.
“What do you mean? Are you going to distribute political funds or something?”
“If necessary, we can support politicians with clean images active in places where opposing politicians are gaining popularity.”
“I’m not positive, but it’s better than seeing the opposing party rise to power.”
“All right! I’ll call Sevan immediately. He should have a good idea about who to support already.”
“Don’t give him too much power.”
“Don’t worry. I’m not saying this because he is my in-law, but he’s not an ambitious person.”
“I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but there will be people around who want to gain something from him. If they make a hero of him, he can have a second thought. We need to be extra careful since he’s tasted authority and power.”
“I will make sure to warn him enough.”
Park Jong-il knew exactly what Youngho meant.
Sevan became the Commissioner-General due to Youngho and Aliyev’s secret relationship, and now he was the Secretary of Interior.
He was now rumored to be a trusted person of the royal family, so no one treated him badly.
He was one of the people who gained the most power when Azerbaijan became a federal state of the Federal Kazakh Kingdom.
“Look around Sevan, too. There should be ambitious schemers who want a piece of his power. Even if Sevan is flawless, he could get into a scandal because of those people.”
“Hey, what if we make him run in the general election? It’ll be great if we make him the head of the forces that support our royal family. What do you think?”
“Are you kidding me? What if he becomes greedy?”
“What can a head of a political party achieve more than the Chairman of the National Assembly? It’s better than letting him become the Prime Minister.”
Park Jong-il suggested making a political party to represent the royal family and let Sevan be in charge of it.
If he became a politician, there would be much more he could do to help the royal family.
When asked to enter the political arena, Sevan could not be happier.
“Your Highness, I don’t know if I can represent the royal family properly and lead a political party since I don’t have any political experience.”
Youngho smirked inside as Sevan was worried about the future rather than rejecting the offer.
It seemed he secretly wanted to become a politician as many were joining the political arena in Azerbaijan, but if the royal family supported him, it was highly likely that he would be elected.
“Minister Sevan, you are the only one that our royal family can trust.”
Youngho asked genuinely and Jong-il also added words, “Brother, His Highness made this decision after a long deliberation. If you accept our offer, I will also support you from behind in secret.”
“Hey, brother. I can work for the government, but I’m not confident about politics, to be honest. It’s not an easy job to lead a political party, and I’m afraid that I might cause trouble for the royal family.”
“Minister Sevan, please don’t worry about other things and gather political figures who are amicable to the royal family. We don’t want just anyone but people with relatively a clean past and image.”
Sevan’s face brightened as Youngho said not to worry about other things.
He was certain that the royal family would release enormous funds.
“How can they be good at the affairs of the state? They don’t even have organizations and a lot of experience.”
His opinion had a point, but the current Azerbaijan needed politicians with clean images because they would be used to check those who were opposed to the government policy.
“Brother, even if they don’t have organizational power and political capabilities, we can make them to be elected. We only need clean people who will run for election in the regions where the opposing party is dominant.”
Sevan looked back at Jong-il.
“When the regions to run for office are decided, we will announce development plans for relevant regions to raise residents’ approval rating.”
At Park Jong-il’s words, Sevan got excited as he slapped his knee.
“Oh! If you could do that, we will definitely have a chance of winning”
Since development only took place in big cities after independence, many areas were still underdeveloped and reminded of the ’70s in South Korea.
“So, please make a political party no matter what. This is a good opportunity for you.”
Sevan was relieved to hear Park Jong-il’s reassurance.
There was nothing he should fear if the support of the Kazakh royal family and intelligence service was behind him.
“I am grateful that Your Highness has been helping me so far, but now that you have given me the opportunity to work for the royal family, I will do my best until I fully serve my purpose.”
“Minister, where do you want to run for office?”
“What? I haven’t even gathered the party members yet, but it’s kind of hard to mention where I’m going to run…”
“You have to preoccupy the region in order to get people’s attention. Please tell me if you have any area in mind. If you’ve already decided, you have to move fast.”
“Wouldn’t it be better to choose the western Baku, where Siberian Ranch which is a royal territory is located? It also doesn’t make sense if someone else would run for an election where the royal courtyard is located.”
If someone ran for office in an area with a royal territory, he could win the election without putting much effort.
People in the western Baku area had been receiving many benefits from the royal family, so they were very fond of the royal family.
It was an area that any pro-government political figure would covet.
“Brother, this is where anyone can be elected, but someone as important as you should go where the big shots of the opposition camp run.”
Park Jong-il stopped Sevan.
“What if I lose by doing so? How can I become the head of the party?”
“There’s no rule that says you can’t be the head of a political party if you are not a member of the National Assembly. You should let someone with little recognition run here and compete with a big figure in the opposing party.”
Sevan looked troubled at Jong-il’s suggestion.
“Hahaha… Minister, don’t worry too much because I’ll make sure you get elected wherever you run. Which region will turn you down when they know we are behind you?”
“Hmmm… If your Highness says so, I’ll jump into enemy’s territory.”
“Very well. Now. Let’s talk about the practical stuff. I was thinking about leaving three floors of a building under royal assets in Baku empty. Will that be enough for the party’s office?”
From now on, it was time to discuss preparations for the founding of the party.
A political party would not be made in a day, so they would have to work day and night to prepare for the upcoming general elections in four months.
“If the party office is too fancy and grand, would the people look at it with a good view?”
“Don’t people know that the royal family is behind you? It’s not legally a problem for the royal family to help a healthy political force. What are you worried about? I’m thinking of funding the opposition party too.”
In order for politics to be balanced, sound opposition parties must also be fostered.
If necessary, Youngho was planning to provide political funds to the opposing politicians as well.
That way, the royal family would not be caught up in disputes later on.
“Your Highness, may I mention the royal family when recruiting talent?”
“You can, but do it in a moderate way. If you advertise that the royal family is behind it too much, you could be bombarded by opposition parties. Just be careful about that.”
“I understand. With this level of support, I’m confident that I can win the general election against any other party.”
“If our party members can take more than half of the total seats, that’ll be sufficient. If you win by an overwhelming number of votes, you’d be told it’s a rigged election.”
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