The Premier of Quebec is appointed as president of the Executive Council by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, the viceregal representative of the Queen in Right of Quebec. He or she is most usually the head of the party winning the most seats in the National Assembly of Quebec, and is normally a sitting member of the National Assembly. An exception to this rule occurs when the winning party's leader fails to win the riding in which he is running. In that case, the premier would have to attain a seat by winning a by-election. This has happened, for example, to Robert Bourassa in 1985.
The role of the Premier of Quebec is to set the legislative priorities on the opening speech of the National Assembly. He or she represents the leading party and must have the confidence of the assembly, as expressed by votes on budgets and other matters considered as confidence votes.
The term "premier" is used in English, while French employs "premier ministre", which translates directly to "prime minister". In at least one instance, the term "Prime Minister of the Province of Quebec" was used in an English-language advertisement.