The acting president of the Vanuatu council of chiefs delays elections, Seni Maor Tirsupe, was to leave his position in April but has been forced to stay on.
Elections set for July will now be held in September.
The minister for justice and social welfare, Ronald Warsal, said the delay was because chiefs were opposing new eligibility criteria for appointment to the Malvatumauri.
"There have been numerous complaints and criticisms raised from a few chiefs on a few of the islands on the issues and the option of the new election rules," Mr Warsal said.
Opponents include the Campaign for Justice group, which said the changes were holding up the council's processes.