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Encyclopedia > President of the general council


In France, the President of the General Council is the locally-elected head of the Conseil Général, the assembly governing a département, a county-level territory.

The position is elected by the General Councillors from among their number. If there is a tie, the senior Councillor is elected.

The President of the General Council wields police powers. Responsibilities include:

  • Chairing the departmental authorities
  • Preparing and implementing the council's decisions
  • Collecting and spending monies
  • Representing the département in legal cases

[1] (http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/culture/france/ressources/letour/gb/texadmis.html)


In 1871, a law was enacted that gave each canton (subdivision of département) representation of a Councillor (Conseiller Général).

As a result of the decentralization of Government the election criteria were redefined in 1982, and in 1985 the President of the General Council took over executive powers from the centrally-appointed prefect. [2] (http://flagspot.net/flags/fr-depts.html)

Past Women Presidents

Overseas territories

The situation in a Département d'outre-mer (overseas territory) can be explained as follows. Generally, these territories are simultaneously départements and régions. The President of the general council may also serve concurrently as President of the Regional Council.

Current Presidents


  • CIA World Factbook (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/)
  • Guide to Women Leaders (http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/france_local.htm)

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