He had reportedly been suffering from colon cancer.
"I can confirm that he died this evening. The family communicated this to me".
The decision was contested by the other vice presidents Dr. Dr Thokozani Khupe and Eng. Elias Mudzuri.
Hours before Tsvangirai died, the party announced an extraordinary meeting to settle who would be the interim leader.
His death in a South African hospital cast his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) into unknown territory less than six months before elections, the first in Zimbabwe not to feature 93-year-old Mugabe.
In 2002 a doctored video surfaced of Morgan Tsvangirai purportedly plotting with a former Israeli intelligence agent to assassinate Mugabe.
Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's longtime opposition leader and former prime minister, has died at 65.
Waxaa caawa fiidkii Isbitaal ku yaalla magaalada Johannesburg ee dalka South Africa ku geeriyooday hogaamiyihii mucaaradka wadanka Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai. His party faced infighting that splintered it into weaker parties. So we had to step in quickly to deal with the leadership crisis. "He stood firm and on the side of the people when the dictatorship was at it's most risky".
Tsvangirai, 65, died on February 14, a senior member of his party tweeted. "He did a great job and deserves national hero status". "You fought a good fight, RIP Save".
The eldest of nine children, Tsvangirai worked at a textile mill in Mutare in the east, and later joined a nickel mine in Bindura, a town in the country's north.
Tsvangirai was the face of Zimbabwe's opposition: a man who represented Zimbabwe's working class who suffered most under Mugabe.
His first wife, Susan, passed away after a auto they were travelling was hit by a truck.