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Davit Kezerashvili ( ) (born September 22, 1978) is a Georgianmarker politician, who from November 10, 2006 to December 5, 2008 was the country's Minister of Defence.

Biography

Kezerashvili was born in Tbilisimarker. After migrating to Russiamarker, he went to Israelmarker in 1992, where he lived with his grandmother in the Kiryat Ben-Gurion neighborhood of Holonmarker and attended high school. After a year and a half, he left Israel and returned to Georgia.He studied law and international relations at Tbilisi State University.

After working in the Justice Ministry he became an assistant to Mikheil Saakashvili, then the Minister for Justice.

Kezerashvili then worked in the Finance Ministry from 2004 until November 2006, including a role as chair of the financial police force. On November 11, 2006, he was appointed as Georgian Defense Minister, replacing Irakli Okruashvili. He was dismissed from this post amid criticisms over the Georgia-Russia war on December 5, 2008.

Political track record

Kezerashvili is a founding member of the liberal United National Movement, and contested an election in 2002 under their banner.

He is also a close personal ally of the party's leader, Georgian President Saakashvili.

Shalva Natelashvili of the Georgian Labour Party criticized Kezerashvili's appointment, arguing that he "has never served in the army... doesn't even have the title of sergeant and has no clue about the armed forces."

As chief of the financial police, Kezerashvili received criticism for heavy-handed tactics in raiding businesses.

Kezerashvili was dismissed from his post of the defence minister on December 5, 2008 during a major cabinet shuffle. His dismissal has been expected in the aftermath of Georgia's defeat in the 2008 South Ossetia War. Davit Kezerashvili is succeeded by former ambassador to the US, Vasil Sikharulidze.

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