The Vanuatu prime minister, Sato Kilman, has replaced his lands minister without giving any reason.
Mr Kilman has taken the portfolio from Ralph Regenvanu, who had begun introducing reforms, and given it to Alfred Carlot.
Reliable sources from the office of the opposition say Mr Kilman had no choice but to make the reshuffle to stay in power.
Mr Regenvanu had been the lands minister for only three weeks.
He had temporarily halted registration of land leases to allow the ministry to install a system to ensure they comply with land laws and involve all rightful landowners.
Mr Regenvanu has now been appointed justice minister as part of a cabinet reshuffle.