Colombo: Former Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is ready to contest the presidential elections after renouncing his American citizenship, his brother Basil Rajapaksa said on Thursday. Speaking to reporters, Basil said former president Mahinda Rajapaksa will take over the leadership of the newly formed Sri Lanka People’s Party on August 11. “He (Mahinda) will then announce our candidate,” Basil said. On Gotabhaya, Basil said, “He has given up his US citizenship.” Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USSeventy-year-old Gotabhaya, who held dual US-Sri Lankan citizenship, had spearheaded a successful military campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s term as president. Following the LTTE’s military defeat, the Rajapaksa brothers gained cult status among the Sinhalese people. Under the nineteenth amendment to the Lankan Constitution (19-A), Gotabhaya could not become an elector due to his US citizenship.Two weeks ago, Gotabhaya claimed he had successfully renounced his US citizenship. Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest a third time due to a time bar for the presidency which was introduced through 19A of the Constitution. In Mahinda’s absence, Gotabhaya is seen as the most suitable candidate to carry forward the Rajapaksa legacy.