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The mid 1930s also consolidated a PNȚ "centrist" wing, represented by Armand Călinescu, and supported by Ghelmegeanu. This faction favored a full clampdown on the Iron Guard, but hoped to achieve its defeat in close alliance with Carol.[112] At the third general congress of April 4–5, 1937, which was to be the PNȚ's last,[113] inner-party stability appeared to be threatened by "intrigue and ambition", although shows of unity were made in various rallies.[114] During that interval, prosecutors brought R. Boilă to trial for his participation in the "Škoda Affair". He and all other defendants were acquitted.[115] Coposu, who attempted to show that the case was instrumented by Carol as revenge against his PNȚ opponents, was found guilty of lse-majest and spent three months in prison.[116] Ahead of legislative elections in December 1937, Carol invited Mihalache to form a cabinet, but also tried to impose some of his own selections as ministers; Mihalache refused to comply.[117] As a result of this failure,[118] Maniu returned as chairman of the PNȚ—he would serve as such uninterruptedly, to July 1947.[35] Immediately after taking over, he proceeded to reinforce party discipline, obtaining promises of compliance from left-wingers Lupu and Madgearu.[119] His return also allowed the formation of a right-wing section in Bucharest. Its leader, Ilariu Dobridor, openly argued for Lupu to be expelled from the party.[120] The PNȚ completely revised its alliances, agreeing to limited cooperation with the Iron Guard and the Georgist Liberals. The three parties agreed to support "free elections" and still competed against each other; however, the pact's very existence shocked the liberal mainstream, especially after revelations that PNȚ cadres could no longer criticize the Guard.[121] Călinescu and Ghelmegeanu's group was alienated, openly describing the pact as morally unsound, and preferring full cooperation with Carol; Mihalache also dissented, but on democratic grounds.[122] The events caught the PCdR underground by surprise: in November, its leader Ștefan Foriș had urged his colleagues to vote PNȚ, even in preference to the PSDR.[123] A "workers' delegation", made up of PSDR and PCdR activists, visited Maniu and insisted that he should revise the "non-aggression pact".[124] The scandal divided Romania's left-wing press: newspapers such as Adevărul remained committed to Maniu, though communist sympathizers such as Zaharia Stancu and Geo Bogza went back on their support for a PNȚ-led popular front, and switched to endorsing the PȚR.[125] The election marked a historic impasse, whereby the PNL failed to clearly win elections organized under its watch. It dropped to 152 parliamentary seats, with the PNȚ holding on to 86 (and 20% of the vote); this was just 20 seats ahead of the Guard, which had emerged as Romania's third party.[126] Carol opted to use his royal prerogative and bypassed all groups opposing his policies, handing power to a PNC minority cabinet, under Goga.[127] Goga's arrival signaled Romania's rapprochement toward Germany, which had emerged as a key regional player following the Munich Agreement. Concerns about German re-armament also pushed Maniu into "demand[ing] an alignment with Berlin".[128] However, he punished attempts by other PNȚ figures to collaborate with Goga, and expelled Călinescu, who had accepted a ministerial position.[129] This move lost the PNȚ its party organization in Argeș County, which obeyed Călinescu.[130] Maniu had a return as the opposition leader, speaking out against Carol and Goga, and promising a "national revolt" against their regime—while promising to consolidate an "opposition bloc" alongside the Iron Guard.[131] During the early days