French Polynesian president Edouard Fritch sacked his deputy but would not go as far as dumping Tearii Alpha from his cabinet for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
The issue had been brewing for a month after it was announced that the government was taking unspecified measures for defying orders against mandatory vaccinations for public servants.
The government is towing the line that private considerations of a politician have to be pushed to the side for the collective responsibility of the French territory.
Mr Fritch has retained his former vice president as a minister while Mr Alpha’s successor is yet to be named.
The controversy of vaccinations also embroiled another senior figure of the government.
Gaston Tong Sang, who is the assembly president, has also refused to be vaccinated.
But his position looks safe under a ruling that only the assembly can remove a member should they be found to be incapacitated for physical or mental reasons.
Mr Tong Sang could still be excluded from the ruling Tapura Huiraatira party.
The assembly has recently amended the law-making vaccinations to be mandatory.
The application has been deferred until December 23 after the pro-independence opposition asked for it to be scrapped.