In France, the President of the Departmental Council (French: Président du Conseil départemental) is the locally elected head of the Departmental Council, the assembly governing a departments in France. The position is elected by the departmental councilors from among their number. If there is a tie, the senior councilor is elected.
The President of the Departmental Council wields police powers. Responsibilities include:
Chairing the departmental authorities
Preparing and implementing the council's decisions
In 1871, a law was enacted that gave each canton (subdivision of a department) representation of a councillor (Conseiller général).
As a result of the decentralization of government the election criteria were redefined in 1982 and the President of the Departmental Council took over executive powers from the centrally-appointed prefect.