A tribal court has issued a temporary order prohibiting Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald from exercising his authority and barring him from his offices.

Navajo District Judge Robert Yazzie's order late Wednesday ordered MacDonald and 27 others not to enter or stay in tribal offices "except for the purpose of removing personal belongings, unless further authorized by this court."Yazzie ordered MacDonald and the others to appear before Friday to show why the order should not be extended indefinitely. Among the 27 named in the order were Vice Chairman Johnny R. Thompson, press secretary Tazbah McCullah and Marshall Tome, director of Navajo public safety.

"I feel a sense of relief," said interim tribal chairman Leonard Haskie, who was appointed by the Tribal Council majority two weeks ago. "This has been a lengthy and exhausting process."