The government of Nauru has been ousted amid unrest over its decision to accept 1,000 asylum seekers.

According to an Australian Foreign Affairs spokesperson, former President Bernard Dowiyogo replaced President Rene Harris after a vote of no confidence was passed by parliament.

ABC reports that controversy had been building since the government decided to take in 1,000 mainly Afghan asylum seekers in return for cash, following the Tampa incident.

The 21 square km island has also been dogged by controversy over allowing money laundering, and is running out of money due to a depleting phosphate mine.

President Harris has been facing calls to resign since parliament rejected his budget on 31 December. This is the seventh presidential term for Mr Dowiyogo.