Miroslav Kalousek (born 17 December 1960 in Tábor) is a Czech politician who has been Leader of TOP 09, a party he co-founded, since 2015 and the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Central Bohemian Region since 1998. He served twice as Finance Minister in the Cabinets of Mirek Topolánek and then again from 2010 to 2013 in the Government of Petr Nečas.
He studied chemistry at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague and then worked at the Ministry of Defense where he was responsible for the budget and acquisitions from 1993 to 1998. In 1998, Kalousek was elected as MP on the ticket of the Christian Democrats, the party he led from 2003 until his departure and quit in 2006. In 2007, Kalousek was appointed as a Finance Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, a position he held until 2007 when Topolánek's cabinet lost a vote of no-confidence.
In 2009, Kalousek and Karel Schwarzenberg co-founded a pro-European, center-right and conservative political party, TOP 09, that met with success in the 2010 legislative election and the party formed a coalition government with the Civic Democrats (ODS) and Public Affairs (VV), a step that secured the Ministry of Finance for Kalousek for the second time.
Kalousek was re-elected as MP in the 2013 legislative election but lost the post of Finance Minister. In 2015, he was elected as Leader of TOP 09, succeeding Karel Schwarzenberg.
The 2006 parliamentary election resulted in a situation where no party or coalition of parties was able to form a viable government. Over a period of many months a number of alternatives were negotiated with no result.
On 24 August 2006 Kalousek unexpectedly accepted an offer from Jiří Paroubek to start negotiations on a minority government of KDU-ČSL and the Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) which would be tolerated by the Communists. The presidium of the party expressed no objections.
Such negotiations were in conflict with the pre-election promises and the vocal anti-communist stance of the party and its electorate.
On 25 August 2006 mass protests by KDU-ČSL members, regional organisations and members of parliament went public. The party group in Brno (the biggest regional organisation) refused the negotiated solution and asked for the resignation of Kalousek and of the whole presidium of KDU-ČSL. Other organisations made similar demands. Some members of parliament declared that they wouldn't support such a government.
On the evening of the same day the country-wide committee of KDU-ČSL refused the proposal by an overwhelming majority and Kalousek resigned. He has claimed his negotiation with Jiří Paroubek was part of a plan to bring down the government coalition of ČSSD and the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) which otherwise seemed to be the most likely scenario. That goal was in fact achieved when ODS refused to participate in a "grand coalition" and created its own government with minority support in the Parliament.
In 2009, after a supposed drift of KDU-ČSL to the political left, Kalousek left the party altogether, and with several former KDU-ČSL colleagues created a new party called TOP 09. This party celebrated success in the 2010 parliamentary election and until July 2013 was one of the three parties governing the Czech Republic as part of the centre-right "coalition of fiscal responsibility".