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Georgia Reformer Bendukidze Dead At 58


Kakha Bendukidze
Kakha Bendukidze

Kakha Bendukidze, a key figure behind Georgia's anticorruption drive and liberal economic reforms after the Rose Revolution of 2003, has died at age 58.

Bendukidze died in London on November 13.

The cause of death was not immediately known, but friends and colleagues said he had recently had heart surgery.

Born in Tbilisi, Bendukidze was a biologist turned businessman who amassed wealth in Russia's early 1990s privatization before returning to Georgia in 2004 following Mikheil Saakashvili's election as president in the wake of street protests that drove out the old guard.

He was economy minister in 2004 and state minister for reforms until 2008, then served as government chief of staff until early 2009.

This year, Bendukidze was a member of an expert council formed by President Petro Poroshenko to advise the pro-Western government in Ukraine on economic reforms.

With reporting by Bloomberg

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