Vanuatu's government faces one of its toughest tests yet

The coalition government in Vanuatu is facing one of its toughest challenges yet, after the ouster of two ministers and increasing speculation of yet another looming motion of no confidence.

Ministers from the Leaders Party, Jotham Napat and Matai Seremaiah, were this week sacked from cabinet, apparently because of fears about the party's growing strength within the coalition.

While the Charlot Salwai-led government has faced ructions before, these removals are the highest-ranked scalps so far.

A Facebook messenger group chat, leaked to the Daily Post, showed a number of government MPs disgruntled with the Leaders Party.

It mostly stemmed from the recent Tanna by-election, which was held after former deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman was convicted and given a suspended sentence for perverting the course of justice.

Most of the coalition parties agreed to not stand someone against the candidate from Mr Natuman's Vanua'aku Pati. But the Leaders Party didn't, and its nominee Jimmy Nipo went on to win by significant margin.

In the wake of this, Mr Salwai and deputy Bob Loughman, who is the one who did the firing..