Member of the Legislative Assembly

A member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) is a representative elected by the voters of a constituency to a legislative assembly. Most often, the term refers to a subnational assembly such as that of a state, province, or territory of a country. Still, in a few instances, it refers to a national legislature.


Members of the Legislative Assembly use the suffix MP instead of MLA in the states of New South Wales[1] and Queensland.[2]

Members of the Legislative Assemblies of Western Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, and Norfolk Island are known as MLAs. However, the suffix MP is also commonly used.

South Australia has a House of Assembly, as does Tasmania, and both describe their members as MHAs.

In Victoria, members may use either MP or MLA.[3]

In the federal parliament, members of the House of Representatives are designated MP and not MHR.[4]


In Brazil, members of all 26 legislative assemblies (Portuguese: assembléias legislativas) are called deputados estaduais (English: state deputies). Unlike the federal legislative body which is bicameral, Brazilian state legislatures are unicameral.

The Federal District legislative assembly is called the Legislative Chamber (Portuguese: Câmara Legislativa) and is composed of deputados distritais (English: district deputies). Members of the Lower House are also called deputies, but they are deputados federais (English: federal deputies).


In Canada, members of the federal House of Commons of Canada are described as members of Parliament (MPs) and members of the Senate as senators, although both the House and Senate are part of the Parliament of Canada. Members of subnational legislative assemblies are members of the elected provincial and territorial legislatures and are called MLAs in all provinces and territories except:

Falkland Islands

Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands use the suffix MLA. In 2009 the Legislative Council of the Falkland Islands (which had existed since the 1840s) was replaced with the new Legislative Assembly. As a result, Members of the Legislative Assembly are often still referred to as Councillors.

Hong Kong

Members of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong are referred to as Legco Councillors.


Of the 28 states and eight Union Territories of India, all 28 states and three Union Territories (Delhi, Puducherry, and Jammu and Kashmir) have legislative assemblies.

A person, if qualified, may be elected as an MLA based on universal adult suffrage by an electorate consisting of all citizens above the age of 18 of that state or UT. In some states, the Governor may appoint one member to represent minorities, e.g. the Anglo-Indian community, if the Governor finds that minority is inadequately represented in the Legislative Assembly. Those elected or appointed to a Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) are referred to as Members of the Legislative Assembly or MLAs.

Each legislative constituency of the State or UT is represented by only one MLA. As outlined in the Constitution of India, the number of legislative seats in a legislature cannot be more than 500 members and fewer than 60 members. However, with an Act of Parliament, the seats can be fewer than 60, as such is the case in the states of Goa, Sikkim, Mizoram and the UT of Puducherry.

Depending on the population and other factors, each State or UT has varying numbers of MLAs, the highest being in the state of Uttar Pradesh (403) and the least in the UT of Puducherry (30).

Owing to parliamentary democracy, wherein some members of the legislature also act as the executive. Some MLAs may have triple responsibilities: as an MLA, as a cabinet minister of a department and/or as a chief minister of that state.


A state legislative assembly comprises elected representatives from single-member constituencies during state elections through the first-past-the-post system. The majority party in each assembly forms the state government, and the leader of the majority party becomes chief minister of the state. The state legislative assemblies are unicameral, unlike the bicameral Parliament of Malaysia. The hereditary rulers or governors are vested with powers to dissolve their respective state legislative assemblies on the advice of the chief minister. Once dissolved, elections must be carried out within an interim period of sixty (60) days. Usually, state elections are held simultaneously with the federal parliamentary elections, with the exception of Sarawak, and before 2004, Sabah.

Northern Ireland

Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the devolved legislature of Northern Ireland are known as MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly).

The Assembly was suspended on October 14, 2002 but the persons elected to it at the 2003 Assembly Election were called together on 15 May 2006 under the Northern Ireland Act 2006[5] for the purpose of electing a First Minister and deputy First Minister and choosing the members of an Executive (before 25 November 2006) as a preliminary to the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland. Another election was held on 7 March 2007 and powers were restored to the Assembly in May 2007.

South Korea

A member of any of the provincial legislative assemblies may be referred to as an MLA in English.

United States

In the United States of America, state legislator is a generic term referring to a member of the legislative body of any of the country's 50 states.

The formal name of the legislature varies from state to state. In 24 states, it is simply called the Legislature or the State Legislature, while in 19 states, the legislature is called the General Assembly. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislature is called the General Court, while North Dakota and Oregon designate the legislature as the Legislative Assembly.

The Associated Press guidelines for journalists recommend referring to state legislators as state representatives or state senators to avoid confusion with their federal counterparts.


Members of the Senedd, the devolved Assembly for Wales, are usually known as MSs or Aelodau o'r Senedd (ASau).[6]


  1. "The Role of Members of Parliament". 2 February 2008. Archived from the original on 24 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  2. Resolution of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Qld branch), 19 October 2000. Source: Queensland Parliamentary Library, 15 November 2005.
  3. "Members' titles". 25 October 2010. Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  4. "House of Representatives Practice". 30 September 2005. Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  5. "Northern Ireland Act 2006 (c. 17)". Archived from the original on 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2006-05-19.
  6. Torrance, David (2020-05-06). "Senedd Cymru: Why has the National Assembly for Wales changed its name?". Archived from the original on 2020-05-11. Retrieved 2020-05-14. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
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