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Partasah hired Tal because he would resist Zefonith and Alu trying to take control of Tethys.
Whatever the plan is that Alu and Zefonith had, Partasah despised it enough to throw Alu through a window and banish them both — and whatever it is seems to be connected to this office specifically. ("It wouldn't have been such a problem if he'd just stayed off Tethys.") No-one seem to give a straight answer to Tal about it ("Zefonith's out of date, Alu's out of touch, and Gilou has no experience"; "Humans think some things are important enough to die for. So do Aquaans. Leave it at that."), but as governor Tal has two traits to an unusual degree that Partasah may have recognized as early as his job application:

  1. He is dutiful — given a body of rules and a set of responsibilities, he will adhere to the former while executing the latter.
  2. He is a good person — honest, caring, and brave enough to defy the system to protect people.

From the first, Partasah could expect to be able to teach Tal to govern as he himself would have, and that Tal would not accept any excuse to cede the office to Zefonith or Alu; from the second, Partasah knew that Tal would be willing to defy convention and tradition if those were the excuses that Zefonith and Alu offered, and that he would do good for Tethys generally.

If Partasah saw years earlier what Gilou saw when Alu showed up at the office, if he suspected as Gilou did that whatever change Alu made destroyed her sense of good and evil, and if it is the lab in the governor's residence that is the crucible for carrying out that change ... then Tal would be one of the few people he could find that would keep Alu out.

Aquaans are related to, or are Yogzarthu.

  1. They don't remember their past - they might have been an unusually cooperative and peaceful offshoot of the Yogzarthu. Or maybe they shared a common ancestor in their past and evolved in completely different directions.