You are the manager in chief of a public company, infamous for your undemocratic behaviour and love for power. This is hurting you and your ambitions. Here's an electiow recipe for you to get out of your situation, if you manage to act well:
1. Announce that you are recruiting for, preferrably, second in command in management, through stockeholders' vote and receive a lot of applications.
2. Set up a review committee who should decide which applicant met the requirements for the post.
3. Tell the review committee to disqualify a certain applicant, Mr. Mo, who is enjoying a sizable popular support and who is supported by the opposite camp to you. In most cases you don't even need to tell them directly, just appoint the right persons and they will do it on their own.
4. When the names of the qualified applicants are announced by the committee, ask one of your cohorts (an easy choice is one that you have indirectly appointed, in a previous electiow, to a legal position in the company with a close family relation to you, say the father of your daughter-in-law) to write you a public letter and ask for a reconsideration of the committee's decision. This is a vital step and must be done carefully and immediately. You should not lose any tempo or your opponents might stage major protests on their own and take the lead away from you.
5. Write a public letter to the committee and ask for a reconsideration of (wait, no, not all the applicants, only) Mr. Mo's qualifications.
6. The committee must duly announce that "following your managerial recommendation," they have now qualified Mr. Mo.
7. [improved] Tell your press rep to publish the news of your managerial order. You have then given both an order and a recommendation, depending on one's taste. This will devide your opponents: those who want to challenge your order will be pressed by those who want to take advantage of your recommendation. Ultimately they cannot not accept the maneuver, since that means they do not accept you as a democratic manager.
8. If you played well, you'd be about done now. Wait. Recuperate. Read and prepare. As the time of voting approaches you may have a lot more to do. Hope for the best.
Find it hard to imagine? Take courage and learn the way from the real-life version.